Thursday, January 31, 2008

Catching Up on the Non-Prophets Radio Show... Irony Alert.

So I'm up to Season 5, Episode 3. From Feb. 2006. "It's described: Jeff discusses Richard Dawkins' television documentary "The Root of All Evil". And Catholics are building Ave Maria, their own creepy theocratic town in the Twilight Zone -- er, that is, Florida. Much, much more!"

"Root of All Evil. I watched it on this small slow site called youtube 'Y-O-U-T-U-B-E Dot Com' it had this guy Ted Haggard on it. He's creepy." -- Wow, it's funny some times to catch the time warp.

The episode prior to the Kitzmiller verdict was classic too.

Ego Surfing Gone Bad.

Ego surfing is where you enter your username into Google and see what it turns up. The main reason I go by Tatarize rather than Tat is because it Tat is too common (only really good for high score tables) and the thrill of palindromes is overruled by the ability to find all references to yourself on the internet.

Today, I needed a link to a picture of myself and decided to just send a couple hyperlinks.

Well, I did a Google Image Search for Tatarize.

Wow. First image was a bit of a shock.

In case anybody cares, the guy who runs that site is crazy and goes by Dr. Curry and refers to himself in the third person. He works at a community college and has a law degree. His absolutely obsessed with the Pledge of Allegiance and swears it's socialism come to take over America. And not just socialism but Nazi socialism... which isn't even socialism at all. He swears that the swastika is setup to have the center part resemble the 'S' in socialism and resemble the 'S' in Hitler's signature. The fact that Adolph Hitler doesn't have an 'S' in it, impressed nothing on to this. Proper tellings of history don't phase him either. The arm extended is a Roman salute. He even wrote a brief in Newdow's Pledge Case.

2006-06-13 Amicus Brief of Rex Curry filed. [71K]

In any event, I engaged him as I engaged all crazy people for sport. And well he posted of his glorious victory against me on his web page.

Just freaky.

God Snot, teetering on the edge, switches to Obama.

Well, now that John Edwards has dropped out of the race, I'm supporting Obama without the nagging feeling of betrayal. I, like many people, was torn between Obama and Edwards. Initially I supported Edwards because he spoke to a lot of the core values I endorse. He wanted to get rid of the lobbyists and reform those things you can't reform because of the lobbyists and also because he was white. Not that there's anything wrong with race, but I was worried that racists would keep Obama down. A good section of this country is downright unacceptably hatefilled and I thought this race was too important to avoid the same charismatic, southern, Christian, white, male mold that has served this country well since the founding fathers stopped getting elected (mostly deist). However, I was ready to jump ship after South Carolina. Specifically for the reason I didn't want Clinton. I think the Hillary Clinton lacks coattails. There's honestly close to two decades of built in hate. And even people who stand no chance of voting this their state blue (electoral votes are such that if you live in Illinois or California, there's basically no point voting; you should always vote). However if they drive out to vote against Hillary, a number of other pivotal candidates will lose. There are opportunities to make large strides in the Senate and some strides in the House but mostly if democratic voters vote and to an extent if Republicans don't (addendum: if you're a Republican go ahead and ignore the always vote advice). Well, Obama drove out so many voters in SC and young voters in Iowa that I was tempted to switch based on the fact that he could win in a landslide and drive a vast number of voters to the polls who might not have gone otherwise the the voting booths as Democrats.

With Edwards out of the race. Obama has it pretty well sewed up. That and the coattails issue. I have a choice now between negative coattails and positive coattails. Also Hillary is pretty right wing. Her position against video games may put her heavily loved by mothers, but not so heavily on the other side of me. Also, I view her as an establishment figure.

I was ready to jump ship and now I will. I hope Obama will choose Edwards as VP. Hillary could be secretary of state, Dean the surgeon general. It could be one happy family. And we could replace everybody incompetent with competent people. Ah, competence!

The Sarah Connor Chronicles rocks.

I just thought that if you were living under a rock or something, and saw some passing stuff for it. I highly recommend you watch it. It's one of the best scifi series to come around for a long time. It also has Summer Glau, and to steal a joke from Kazim's Korner (which also recommends it) it's roughly akin to the XKCD suggestion of River Tam Beats Up Everybody.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wow, you have a small penis and a small brain.

My brother in law had a great idea. Let's steal their great idea and sell sugar pills pretending to make your penis larger. Apparently you need to be far more evil than to do that than the plan originally seemed to require.

According to Enzyte's former VP it's a lot more to it than that.

When customers ordered a product, the company's goal was to keep charging their credit cards for as long as possible, Teegarden said.

He said first-time customers were automatically enrolled in a "continuity program" that sent Enzyte to their homes every month and charged their credit cards without authorization.

"Without continuity, the company wouldn't exist," Teegarden said. "It was the sole profit of the business."

If customers complained, he said, employees were instructed to "make it as difficult as possible" for them to get their money back. In some cases, Teegarden said, Warshak required customers to produce a notarized statement from a doctor certifying Enzyte did not work.

"He said it was extremely unlikely someone would get anything notarized saying they had a small penis," Teegarden said.

Ouch dude. That's cold. The AOL you with the no cancel, then make you ask for a proof you have a tiny penis.

I guess there's more to the science of tiny penis pill selling than claiming it's twice as effective as their sugar pill.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

If I was stuck on a dinky liferaft...

If I were stuck on a dinky life-raft, which met this other life raft with another person and an injured guy. I wouldn't eventually just untie the other life raft (now taking on water) go even if the injured guy gave me his blessing. I'd drag him into my boat whether it hurt him or not.

This may seem exceedingly moral, and I certainly wouldn't tip my hand in that regard. If a rack of lamb wanted to float away I wouldn't let that happen either.

LDS leader has died. Next oldest guy takes power.

You pretty much move to the leader spot of the LDS by being the oldest person there. Now, there's another opening as Gordon B. Hinckley had died.

Yeah, you don't care. Neither do I.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

281 Tricks to Irritate an Atheist.

2) Tell them that if there's no God, they might as well go out and kill people.

5) Insist that there is a God, and show them where in the Bible it says so.

8) Make up statistics.

12) Use multiple versions of Pascal's Wager as though you thought them up yourself.

14) Post inane arguments on the Internet, and never follow up on them.

15) Say that seperation of church and state isn't in the Constitution; insist that the Constitution is based on the Ten Commandments.

19) Point out that we all take things on faith.

21) After losing the argument say, "I pity you."

29) When given a Bible verse that looks bad, tell him that's what the verse says, but that's not what it means.

30) Argue that the Bible stories are not myths . . . they're parables. And they're all true!

37) Explain that the lack of proof doesn't mean it didn't happen.

44) Accuse him of being an agnostic, since he isn't 100% positive that God does not exist.

58) Insist that faith is the only logical answer.

59) No matter what he quotes from the Bible, say that it's out of context.

83) Quote Psalm 14:1 to him.
99) State that Christianity has done a lot of good along with all the mass murder.

124) Say that evolution is not proven -- therefore the Bible is correct.

125) Tell him it's his responsibility to prove that God doesn't exist.

143) Show that the Bible must be true because when you take the original Hebrew letters, spread them out and twist them around, you can spell words.

155) Use the word "presupposition" incorrectly, repeatedly.

173) Tell him that everyone has faith in SOMETHING.


223) Avoid taxes and regulations because you're doing God's work.

244) Grossly misunderstand the word "theory."

256) Ask if he's ever heard of Jesus Christ.

280) When he shows up at your wedding, bearing an expensive gift for you, return the favor by sicing your minister on him after the ceremony.

281) If he has cancer, tell him with a sickeningly sweet smile that you will pray for his recovery, because someone needs to.

281) When ending your conversation with the atheist, promise to read whatever book the atheist may have mentioned, knowing darned well that you yourself never made it through Leviticus.

2008 Election Guide.

2008 election guide.
(via grrlscientist)

Stop the Utah Land Grab... evil terrorists and ultraliberals want Utah preserved!

Honestly the weirdest site I've seen for a while.
Stop The Land Grab in Utah

Would These Terrorist-Supporting Dictators Vote For This Land Grab?

Almost certainly. Why? Because this land grab would hurt America's ability to produce American energy. That means we will have to buy more foreign energy. And that means that these monsters will get more of our energy dollars to fund terrorism against America.

And with a name like Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance you'd think they'd want somebody to strip mine Utah.

I've been to Utah, it's actually mindblowingly beautiful. I'm astounded most of it isn't already part of the national parks system.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm too sexy for my brain.

So oddly enough another debate on I managed to stump some creationist by posting a well documented easy explanation of evolution with a number of topical notes as to how exactly it all goes together. Explaining why there are marsupials Australia. He apparently tried for a bit and ended up posting several questions to me. You know, you see the same arguments being cut and pasted so many times you neglect to realize that there is a real person who really believes those arguments doing the cutting and pasting... and he's really stupid.

--"first were did the orginal orginism come from?"

I don't know. We have some generally good ideas as to some of the steps involved. There are easily generated organic molecules, fantastic catalysts, tiny easily produced replicative molecules, strong evidence that DNA even at very short lengths is fairly crystalline (crystals have a simple replication). Outside of these good suggestions we just don't know; I don't know.

--"how do you figure in the great flood?"

I don't. The great flood is a myth. There's no evidence geologically, biologically, historically, plausibly that it occurred. There was a time when geologists actually believed it, but a preponderance of the evidence made even the most ardent of finally admit that there should be some evidence and clearly was not. For example, we have societies which show continuous existence during the time of this supposed flood. The oldest living thing on the planet is a Creosote bush in the Mojave desert 11,700 (5,700 years older than the universe) years old. Further, we have uninterrupted tree ring records from all over the world going back about 11,000 years. Further, floods leave a very distinctive mark in the rocks. Just as we can tell that some globally bad thing happened by looking at rocks 64 million years ago from anywhere on the Earth, a local flood would leave a similar mark on our geology.

-- "how do you figure that this earth of ours just came about by chance with all the thins that had to be so perfect for us to live?"

If the Earth didn't exist in such a fashion to allow life to arise it would be impossible to be here and ask that question. There are 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,0000 stars in the universe. Probably a good number of planets around those stars. The fact that life arose on a planet which life could arise on is of very little mystery. Also, to say that the planet is perfect for us is a bit like saying my hand is perfect for a glove. We evolved on this planet and so we are well adapted to the changing conditions. Further, our species is unique in that we adapt not only to our environment but have adapted our environment to us. You'll find humans in the eastern part of the US living happily even though that part of the country is pretty frozen.

--"why are we the most advanced species?"

We aren't. Evolution doesn't work that way. It isn't a race to some advantageous goal it's a bootstrapping little edges to drive a population. There are far fewer organisms existing than could exist, if you look at the breeding patterns of any organisms from bacteria, to rabbits, to insects, to humans you find that within a short number of years it should be possible to coat the planet. However, there's a struggle for resources and different members of different species fight for their own advantages. Sometimes small genetic tweaks will cause an organism to be slightly better or worse in this struggle. The worse organisms are quickly driven extinct whereas the slightly better organisms will use this edge in their struggle to survive passing on this improved genetic characteristic to more offspring and becoming a major factor in the species. This doesn't say anything about a species being the most advanced or the best. Every species is as well adapted within their struggle to survive as humans are adapted within our struggle to survive. There's nothing inherently superior about humans over rabbits, over grass, or birds. We are just as adapted towards our survival as they are towards theirs. There isn't a goal in evolution so the suggestion that we are closer to that goal than lions is a rather misguided idea. Lions are adapted to their struggle and we are adapted to ours. Generally organisms occupy different niches so it's a lot like apples and oranges... apples are adapted to their niche and oranges to theirs.

-- "why dosnt all mothers have 14 arms? (because they would notice the need for another arm and that magic process would go into effect.)

Evolution is not a magical process. It's a gradual process. If you could gradually require the addition of an arm from a fairly pointless arm stub to a fully functional arm you could evolve one. However, our general body plan is the same as all vertebrates fish had two front fins and two hind fins so now all species originally evolved from fish have this same general plan and gradual modifications (a major change is nearly impossible to occur and be helpful to an organism). Slow gradual change, tweaks which give slight edges to organism in their struggle within their species.

He moved on to the topic of the Big Bang.

The scientific evidence does lead one to accept that the universe began 14 billion years ago from an original point. I highly recommend Richard Carrier's piece on why he was a Big Bang Skeptic and the scientific evidence behind it explaining why he accepts the theory now.

-- "if that tiny ball of matter was so hot wouldn't it purge it of all living organisms?"

It's worse that that, it wouldn't have been able to become matter for a while. It would have been impossible to have any complex structures at all. However, the Big Bang does not contain living organisms. Those come far later. The universe is 14 billion years old. Our planet is 4.55 billion years old, our sun is a little older than that (few hundred million years or so). However life didn't come on to the scene until about 2 billion years ago. So as far as we can tell the entire universe was lifeless for 12 billion years. Complex life has only been around for about .6 billion, and we've been around for about .001 billion years (high estimate 100,000).

--"if not why do we get sun burns?"

Sun burns are actually burns. The UV rays of the sun actually damage the our skin. Life in the struggle for survival has developed slow gradual tweaks which allow for protection from the sun to reduce the damage to our skins from over-exposure to sun light. However, where light is less abundant (such as northern Europe), lighter skin evolved as a little tweak to increase the production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an extremely useful molecule for our development and is produced when UV light hits our skin. So the previous adaptations of increased melanin to protect the skin from the light were not as advantageous in northern environments. So when the gene used for melanin transport in the skin would break (as tends to happen here and there) it became one of those edges in struggle for survival in the northern environment allowing people to produce more Vitamin D. Because of the reduced sun effects the necessity of protection from sun burn was lessened. However, when you move people adapted for dimmer climates (adapted towards Vitamin D production rather than UV protection) into more sun rich climates they aren't as well as adapted as their darker skins cousins resulting in sun burns.

It's similar to Kettlewell's peppered moths experiments where the lighter colored moths were better adapted to one environment (lighter color trees) and darker colored moths were better adapted to another (darker color trees). Slight adaptations to slightly different environments. If you put the lighter color moth on a darker color tree it has a noticeable disadvantage. In the moth's case it's increased predation by great tits in the case of humans it's sunburns.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Putin's a Christian. *dance*

Putin is a Christian. So when he does what he's going to do... we don't get blamed okay.

Who I am kidding, if he does bad he's an atheist... good he'll be a Christian. So the future baseless argument not only is wrong about atheism being a motive or Putin being an atheist.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dana Jacobson: In Vino Veritas

During a comedy roast apparently Dana Jacobson said some comical roasting things involving Jesus.

She is reported to have drunkenly (alleged) said, "fuck Notre dame" and "fuck touchdown Jesus" and "fuck Jesus" before she was hustled off stage.

And was suspended for a week by ESPN (she's a sports something or other).

Mark comments,

Jesus Christ emphasized "turning the other cheek", loving your enemies and forgiving those who offend you. Piggish sluts like Dana Jacobson and Kathy Griffin are aware of this; therefore, it must give them a sense of power when they open their big garbage can mouths to defame Christianity. If they had made a similar comment about Allah or Mohammed they might have receive a few death threats by now.

It just warms my little heart to see people turning the other cheek.

Southern Baptist notes:
This woman's words were far more offensive then what Imus said and she should be fired AND charged with a 'hate crime'

Apparently nobody has informed him that a hate crime is typically a crime with a hate component. Not crime. Not hate. She was apparently poking fun at Notre Dame for invoking Jesus all the time.

The comments run the gamut from "she should be fire" and "this way way worse than Imus (Nappy-headed hoes) or Kelly Tilghman (Tiger Woods could be stopped with a back alley lynching).

Although there are some bright spots, Justin notes:
Way to go, Dana! You have plenty of supporters. Say what you want. Especially about crazy mythological beings.

Is the America or what?

Apparently people think that "Fuck Jesus" is a hate crime or even slightly parallels suggestions of back alley lynchings.

Fuck Jesus.

Jesus Loves the Little Zygotes

Jesus loves the little zygotes
All the zygotes in the world
Jesus gives them birth defects
Missing fingers, crooked necks
Jesus loves the little zygotes of the world

[Frank Zindler]

The Emperors New Clothes

Did anybody ever notice that in the Emperors New Clothes that if the Emperor had wanted to turn down the cloths, he could have just done so on the grounds of not wanting incompetent people to see him naked?

Also, in the Boy Who Cried Wolf, shouldn't the towns people be blamed. They put a kid in charge in whom they had no confidence. What's the point of the guard if he actually sees a wolf you won't believe him?


The Monty Hall Riddle and Atheism

The Monty Hall Riddle riddle is presented by Wikipedia thusly,

A thoroughly honest game-show host has placed a car behind one of three doors. There is a goat behind each of the other doors. You have no prior knowledge that allows you to distinguish among the doors. "First you point toward a door," he says. "Then I'll open one of the other doors to reveal a goat. After I've shown you the goat, you make your final choice whether to stick with your initial choice of doors, or to switch to the remaining door. You win whatever is behind the door." You begin by pointing to door number 1. The host shows you that door number 3 has a goat.

Do the player's chances of getting the car increase by switching to Door 2?

The problem as generally intended also assumes that the particular door the host opens conveys no special information about whether the player's initial choice is correct. The simplest way to make this explicit is to add a constraint that the host will open one of the remaining two doors randomly if the player initially picked the car.

The solution is counterintuitive but clearly correct.

Once the host has opened a door, the car must be behind one of the two remaining doors. The player has no way to know which of these doors is the winning door, leading many people to assume that each door has an equal probability and to conclude that switching does not matter (Mueser and Granberg, 1999). This "equal probability" assumption, while being intuitively seductive, is incorrect. The player's chances of winning the car actually double by switching to the door the host offers.

The chance of initially choosing the car is one in three, which is the chance of winning the car by sticking with this choice. By contrast, the chance of initially choosing a door with a goat is two in three, and a player originally choosing a door with a goat wins by switching. In both cases the host must reveal a goat. In the 2/3 case where the player initially chooses a goat, the host must reveal the other goat making the only remaining door the one with the car.

What does this oddly quirky and counterintuitive problem have to do with atheism?

Picture a thousand doors, one door for each religion as well as atheism (not strictly a religion or strictly excluding religions).

Let's suggest you choose one of these doors on some criteria, for example, your parents chose this same door. Having chosen this door, you can clearly see that the majority of remaining doors contain no prize. You can see the logical and obvious wrongness of many of these remaining doors. You are able to view them with a skeptical eye and reject them for being as absurd (as they clearly are).

Now, if the odds of each door having the prize is taken to be absolutely random. What are the odds that the initial door was the correct door?
-- 1/1000.

Now, you realize that these other doors can't have the prize. Your choices of doors has been reduced to your initial door and atheism. Either your choice has the prize or it doesn't. So what are the odds now? Two doors remain: your religion and atheism. What are the odds that your religion is the correct religion?
-- *STILL* 1/1000.
---- and the odds of atheism is now 999/1000.

The odds seem equal because you are left with two choices and all door were initially equal chances. The odds that you were right initially is 1/1000 and the odds that you were wrong were 999/1000. A critical eye, able to see the wrongness of the other religious doors, doesn't change the 999/1000 odds that you were wrong. Rather those odds are divided up between the remaining one door of atheism.

Had you chosen any other door, you would have quickly been able to dismiss the other religions, just as you are dismissing most of them now. However, the possibility that you should dismiss them all is still available.

Your newly found critical eye for other people's religion does not increase the chance that you are right. The fact that Islam is wrong because you're Christian or Baptists are wrong because you're Methodist does not increase the chances that you are right. Your chance of guessing right is the same before you dismissed other religions as it is after you dismiss them. The possibility that you were wrong is the same before you dismissed the other religions as before you dismiss them. However, that possibility is now divided by the only possibility left: they are all wrong (atheism).

If you take a look at a religionist similarly born into another door-choice using his critical eye on your religion while you are use your critical eye on his religion. You know that his door contains no prize and he is simply wasting his life. Why doesn't he switch over to your door?
-- He doesn't switch because your door is just as absurd as his door.

Now, given the choice do you switch doors?

There is certainly a Pascal's Wager objection here. Even with only a 1/1000 chance, you could make up skewed prizes. If the prize is behind atheism is only that getting to live your own life, happy and content with love, satisfaction, and joy until you die. You could say that your door has the prize: eternal bliss and infinite life.

Further, your door is quite certain that anybody who picks that any other door is going to get tortured forever. Now that poor co-religionist standing next to a clearly bogus door is really making a critical mistake! Honestly, he's going to get tortured forever and his religion is bogus. He really should switch to your door! Why doesn't he?
-- He's thinking the same thing.

Why don't atheists come over to your door?
-- Because, your door has no prize! The only thing that's even possible is living your own life, happy and content with love, satisfaction, and joy until you die.

Why don't people change to your religion? For the same reason you don't change to their religion... there's no prize there!

Sure, your door has some pretty awful threats for the unfaithful, who lack fidelity, the infidels: but that doesn't mean that your door is the correct door.

The fact that there are so many mutually exclusive religions actually increases the chance that atheism is correct. The fact that all those other religious people adhere to wrong religions doesn't increase the chances that your religion is correct.

It isn't an equal choice between your religion and no religion. The choice is slim to none that your religion is the correct religion and you would be well advised to use that critical eye on your own religion.

If you realize the real reason why you reject other people's religions, you will realize the reason I reject yours. As the saying goes, "they can't all be true, but they can all be false."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Brick Testament: Proving God is evil in Legos.

The last CotG had an entry about a loss of faith in faith when the individual in question (skullsinthestars) encountered Deut. 29:19-21 in Lego form.

It's quite funny... the reasonableness of the first frame and then the bad-guy Yahweh the following frames.

According to the content notice: " The Bible contains material some may consider morally objectionable and/or inappropriate for children." -- Praytell how does one morally object to anything in the Bible. I thought that's where I morals came from?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

4 kingdoms...

Some biologists have apparently started to use genomics to redefine the kingdom systems into things which actually are related and not just dump the groups off into a big pile if it doesn't quite make sense. The result is four kingdoms...


Where do we fit in you might ask... we don't. There are eukaryotic, bacteria, and monkeys. We're monkeys.

Okay, we're actually Opisthokonts related to the amoebas and fungi all animals are subgrouped in here. So you're a monkey and an opisthokont.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why does Obama get to declare delegate victory in Nevada but not in NH?

Final NH breakdown:

* Hillary Clinton has won 9 New Hampshire delegates (3 statewide, 6 district-level)

* Barack Obama has won 9 New Hampshire delegates (3 statewide, 6 district-level)

* John Edwards has won 4 New Hampshire delegates (2 statewide, 2 district-level)

* 22 Democratic delegates were at stake in the New Hampshire primary

* There are also 8 Democratic “superdelegates” in New Hampshire. Of those, 2 support Clinton and 3 support Obama, according to a CNN survey.

That looks remarkably like Obama gets 9 delegates vs 9 delegates and 3 superdelegates vs 2. So Obama gets 12 to Hillary's 11?

Silly system.

Political Compass, where I stand.

political compass.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Creationist literature vs reality.

Creelman’s TEE Revision:

via, Podblack

"Many equiangular spirals can be found in the animal kingdom; examples include the horns of wild sheep, spider webs… and the path of an insect approaching light. It seems to be further evidence of design in the creation of species."

That is so compelling. I mean, to understand that the Golden Ratio is part of the spiral flight of a moth as it flies into a fire, immolating itself, in what must be a pretty painful death... is telling of the benevolence and perfection of God.

Carnivale of the Goddless

New CotG is out.

If you haven't read it, it's a traveling list of links from blogs on a blog tracked by a blog, about dry philosophical treaties on atheism.

Some are actually quite well. I should start submitting a few of my better posts accordingly.

God does not play dice with the world...

The old Einstein quote, "God does not play dice with the world." -- He was apparently wrong. It looks like the world is composed entirely of little dice.*

No, there isn't a point to this post, I simply wrote that as a comment at and thought it was hella clever.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Aetiology: Yersinia pestis caused the black death, criticisms, analysis and results.

In a must read, Tara Smith has a great four part series on the black death: criticisms against it, analysis of those criticisms, and the evidence for Y. pestis is to blame.

I'm psychic and part four, which doesn't exist... will be here. About Y. pestis outbreaks in the modern world (there's a pattern to the links).

New study finds that evolution doesn't select for the least fit. / Lying Robots

To settle some non-lingering issues about evolution a team of scientists proved the evolutionary equivalent of 'water is wet'. Apparently traits which are useful are selected towards... I'm astounded!

When the researchers measured changes in 40 defined characteristics of the nematodes’ sexual organs (including cell division patterns and the formation of specific cells), they found that most were uniform in direction, with the main mechanism for the development favoring a natural selection of successful traits, the researchers said.

Wow! That's the least interesting thing I've read since the evolutionary creation of lying robots! And that's only because it was the first thing I read after reading that fairly interesting article about lying robots. Both of stories appeared on slashdot, ergo the close proximity of reading.

Three colonies of bots in the 50th generation learned to signal to other robots in the group when then found food or poison. But the fourth colony included lying cheats that signaled food when they found poison and then calmly rolled over to the real food while other robots went to their battery-death. Eerily wicked, to say the least. Saving the robots' honor, luckily, there were also a few "hero robots" that signalled danger and then rolled to their death to save the others.

Oddly enough, lying to comrades to jump off a cliff leads you with more food. After honesty develops and becomes universal, dishonestly is a successful strategy, then the entire system is dishonest and needs some form of trust. Even with lying and distrust, there's the ability to signal and that's a step forward even it takes some time to develop a more optimal strategy of success (tit-for-tat is good).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tom Cruise: Scientology hero...

Oddly enough, there's a hell of a lot of Tom Cruise love... I mean a hell of a lot in Scientology.

"Tom Cruise, as you'll see, destroyed the field of psychiatry itself, fought government oppression, and spread incomprehensible jargon across the entire world."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Show to Hate: Eli Stone

So on the 31st the pilot episode of Eli Stone is set to air... and boy does it suck.

Eli Stone is a lawyer, a moron, and apparently a prophet.

The opening scene starts off with Eli Stone settling out of court with a women who claims that her child got autism from a vaccine additive that only their company produces. Clearly meant to represent, thimerosal which antivaxers claim causes autism, regardless that the original claim was made by Andrew Wakefield now under investigation for breach of ethics for both being paid by some lawyers to make up some evidence that vaccines cause autism and standing to personally gain by casting doubt on the MMR vaccine owning a patent on a measles only vaccine. Despite the inability to find any correlation between vaccines and autism (which is likely genetic and only seems to be widespread all of a sudden because we stopped diagnosing kids as retarded for every neurological disorder). So conceding that there is absolutely no way for her case to succeed, because there is no evidence and the claim itself is false, and there's no way to show that the vaccine caused the autism (tapes from pre-vaccine kids later diagnosed with autism show pretty tell-tale signs of the disorder) he settles out of court for 90 grand. Did I miss something? Why would throw money at something, when it's plainly wrong? Thimerosal isn't in any domestic vaccines it was taken out years ago, and no autism rates haven't gone down (there's no evidence they've changed).

Several more minutes in... he has a vision of George Michael (singing "I gotta have faith") in his living room and is referred to an acupuncturist. Sees this acupuncturist a few more times. Is diagnosed with a brain aneurysm to cause the hallucinations (no brain aneurysms don't typically cause hallucinations).

Dr. Chin: "Everything has two explanations, the scientific and the divine."

--- Shoot me now.

Eli: "I don't believe in God."
Dr. Chin: "Sure you do, you believe in right and wrong. You believe in justice. You believe in fairness. And you believe in love. All those things, they're God, Eli."
--- Thank goodness you shot me already.

Closing argument, "case about faith." Believe in things without evidence like vaccines cause autism! -- Result: vaccines do cause autism! Five million dollars! *sigh*

Each year I look back...

Each year back and realize what an idiot I was just a couple years back. I mean, I can't believe I said/thought/believed that... how stupid was I? Every year the same stupidity the year before, and the year before that was even worse.

I don't know if I should be glad to be learning each year. Embarrassed at how stupid I use to be, or scared that I'm being mindblowingly stupid right now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Useful sytems or limitless systems.

Any given system can either be useful or limitless... it can't be both.

Godel's incompleteness theorem shows us that a system cannot prove its own validity unless that system is incoherent. In an incoherent system, you can prove everything, including the coherency of the system itself. However, an incomplete system cannot prove its coherency. Coherent systems can surmise things about reality. If I place 1 thing in a box, and then 2 additional things in the box... I now have 3 things in the box. In reality this works.

Now if I assign 1 to equal 2, I can now show that adding 1 thing in a box and 2 additional things I now have 2 things in the box. We know that 2 is 1, so I have 1 thing in the box. -- In the end... you can prove everything including that I am the pope (not just the pope of Discordianism).

The pope and I are two.
2 = 1.
The pope and I are one.
I am the pope.

In a system which allows for a contradiction, every statement is true (even false ones). This is why we disallow contradictions within mathematics and logical systems, not for some arcane reasons like being wrong or some elegant proof. Rather, without disallowing contradictions we end up with a worthless system in which everything can be proven true. And, in fact, by Godel's proof we can show that an "elegant proof" of this fact is impossible. In a very real sense, we need to take this on faith.

You need limits to be useful. If science could prove everything it would be worthless, it needs to be limited to only proving true things. Falsifiability is a method of differentiating science from pseudoscience. If you can't prove something wrong then it isn't science. It is an immortal idea, a limitless idea, then it is a useless idea.

So do we accept the coherency on faith? And if so, by what criteria do I condemn the faith of others?

-- Faith, in the religious sense, can prove everything. Religious faith is thusly worthless and fundamentally incoherent. There is a world of difference between accepting something as true in order to produce a useful system and accepting something as true and producing a limitless system. These are not Non-Overlapping MAgesteria. Everything science or any coherent systems can be established as true can be established by faith as well. In this regard the overlapping section (as far as science goes is 100%): every statement of science could be a statement of religion because religion produces a limitless system and science produces a useful one. If God tells me the universe is 14 billion years old... so be it.

How are coherent systems such as science limited? - They are limited by their ability to declare true that which is false. They are limited in proving things which can be proven with their correlation to reality.

What's left? Faith can prove everything science can prove. Science cannot prove everything faith can prove. What are these additional things which faith can prove but science cannot? -- False things.

Those things left over in the realm of faith, which science cannot establish ( and tend to discredit at every junction) are probably left over because they are false. It is far from proven, but it seems that Dan Barker was right when he wrote, "Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it cant be taken on its own merits." -- At the very least, one should ask why such notions can be established by those systems which can establish false things and cannot be established by those systems which cannot establish false things.

We limit science and coherent systems by assuming true things cannot be false. This places a massive limit those systems. However, the resulting system, which no longer being limitless cannot prove its own validity, is amazingly useful. This assumption produces a system capable of proving useful things about reality.

Next time you hear that, "With faith, all things are possible." Realize, that being true, this statement establishes that faith is worthless, useless, and does not correlate with reality.

With science, the possible is possible... and nothing else.

O.J. gets bail doubled.

The Judge in O.J. Simpson's trial for armed robbery doubled his bail after he tried to contact a co-defendant. Apparently that guy thinks he can get away with murder*.

-- Yes the entire post was leading up to that one joke.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quote: Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, Revelation

"Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication-- after that it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it can not be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to ME, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him."

William Lloyd Garrison, To the Public

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; – but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.

-- William Lloyd Garrison, “To the Public,” from the Inaugural Editorial in the 1 January 1831 The Liberator'

Yeah, it seems odd to post fairly random bits of stuff from the past. But, I think he's absolutely right.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Syphilis came from America went to Europe... (insert joke)

Oddly enough, research is showing that a Syphilis evolved a new transmission method in Europe: sex. In the old world it relates closely with other similar pathogens. In the New World it adapted to the environment with a new transmission method.

This means that it traveled not from Europe to America but from America to Europe.

There's a joke in here involving Europe, sex, spring break, and America... but I just can't find it.

UPDATE: Indian-giver?

Where does the Library of Congress store the Bible?

In the BS section of course!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Predictions of the Past.

Bill Clinton, half-way through 2006, made the prediction that: “I don’t know if they’re overstating their reserves,” Clinton replied. He added that he expects oil prices will reach US$100 per barrel “in five years or less”.

-- Hm. One and a half years. That's kind of spooky.


Seriously though, we're kind of screwed on that front.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Putting the FSM back is Chrifsmas.

XKCD: Best comic in the world. Honestly.

I know it seems a little odd to have a comic where the jokes tend to require a genius level IQ, but nevertheless it makes for fantastic humor when you're smart enough to get the joke.

Perl and Lisp.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Choices, Freedom, and Happiness: Gay Marriage and Divorce

A fascinating little talk, one of the interesting byproducts of this research that increased choices cause decrease satisfaction and reversible choices being less conducive to happiness than irreversible choices allows for two arguments to be made, one unjustified and one justified.

Gay marriage makes other unrelated marriages less happy and satisfying. If one is given the option to second guess their choice of mate not only on account of other members of the opposite sex but other members of the same sex this should lead to less happy straight marriages. Now, men will be second guessing their wives not only because they might very well have found a better woman but they could have found a better man. -- I feel this argument is probably crap, what's an additional 3 billion more choices if you aren't slightly drawn to any of them. Further on the flip side, have 0 choices is worse than having more than 0... (it's a law of diminishing returns).

Divorce makes marriages less happy. If you aren't stuck with this individual for the long haul, you can do better and are going to constantly debate reversing your decision. Kids make for a more stable marriage not simply because of any other factor but because they mean you're really stuck and there's no going back. -- Oddly enough, I think there's some real truth to this one. The option of a divorce makes marriages less stable and less happy. I'm not saying it's an argument against it, just an interesting factoid. With the possibility of leaving your spouse you're less likely to turn on your "psychological immune system".

I'm not sure what the argument does or means, but it's interesting.

Will Smith, Scientologist?

You know when your cult/religion/scam starts picking off the weaker links of B-list celebs that's one thing. But, when you go for the actually good actors that's just a shame.

Apparently, Will Smith is dabbling in Scientology.

"I was introduced to it by Tom, and I'm a student of world religion. I was raised in a Baptist household. I went to a Catholic school, but the ideas of the Bible are 98% the same ideas of Scientology, 98% the same ideas of Hinduism and Buddhism."

Regardless what beliefs Scientology holds it is absolutely impossible for ANY belief system to share 98% with the Bible and with Buddhism. Such an overlap requires at the very least a 96% overlap between Christianity and Buddhism, any "student of world religion" should know the difference.

If for some reason you aren't well versed in Scientology nonsense Operation Clambake is a fantastically good site.

Soft number in NH / Endorsement

Everybody has a theory as to why Hillary won the NH primary my guess is that it has a lot to do with liking most people running on the Democratic side.

The Republican numbers were pretty straightforward because sometimes you hate one a bit less than less than the others, and the hate doesn't switch as easily as mild preference. Though I support Edwards, the field isn't that bad, I won't be mourning the eventual nominee. I actually like all three of the top folks. Though, I do rank them Edwards, Obama, Hillary as Hillary isn't liberal enough, doesn't have many coattails, and I'd just really love Edwards style reform.

Though, might as well make it official myself and Godsnot (this blog, of which I'm the only blogger) are hereby endorsing:

John Edwards for the Democratic nomination.

Previous I did endorse Alan Keyes for the Republican nomination. I think insuring a loss for the Republican party would be a more productive use of Keyes time than ranting about Cheney's lesbian daughter while ignoring his own lesbian daughter.

John Edwards will win the nomination. This prediction brought to you by Is-From-An-Ought Inc.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hillary? NH?

Hm. I hope she doesn't win. I'd prefer a bit more of a liberal, more a shoe in, and with larger coattails... Edwards.

Driving up voting against her in areas that make a difference in her race but would in other races is a worry. That and I'd prefer some fresh blood.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Evolution, Creationism, and Theistic Evolution.

If I were to show a snippet of code to represent each of these, they would be as follows.


int q;
for (int i = 0; i < 100;) { //loop until i >= 100
q = rand() % 10; //q is random #[0-9].
if (q == 0) i++; //If q is zero, increment i.

Evolution isn't about chance, if it doesn't get it right, it tries again. And keeps preserving its previous lucky hits until it bootstraps a solution.


bool God = true; // God is assumed true.
bool Evolution = false; // Evolution is assumed false.
int q;
for (int i = 0; i < 100;) { //loop until i >= 100
q = rand() % 10; //q is random #[0-9].
if (q == 0) i++; //If q is zero, increment i.
else { // if q is not zero,
Evolution = false; // Evolution is false.
God = true; // God is true.
exit(1); // exit program.

Creationism looks a bit like evolution, but it makes some odd assumptions, and at the first sign of a problem bails out declaring that God exists, declaring the odds of this running successfully are 10^100 (a googol).

Theistic Evolution:

bool God = true; // God is assumed true.
int q;
for (int i = 0; i < 100;) { //loop until i >= 100
q = rand() % 10; //q is random #[0-9].
if (q == 0) i++; //If q is zero, increment i.
else { // if q is not zero,
if (God) i++; //if God, increment i anyway.

See, evolution works exactly like it should! But sometimes God needs to step in and fix things when they go wrong or are a bit too complex or might run forever. Thank God for stepping in there to help. Though if God were false, it would still work perfectly fine. God is just there to cheapen the entire operation.

So the general religious view of evolution is as follows.

bool God = true; // God is assumed true.
bool Evolution;
cin >> Evolution; // asks user to set Evolution.
int q;
for (int i = 0; i < 100;) { //loop until i >= 100
q = rand() % 10; //q is random #[0-9].
if (q == 0) i++; //If q is zero, increment i.
else if (God) { // if q is not zero & God true.
if (Evolution) { //if Evolution is true
i++; //God helps evolution along.
else { //if Evolution is not true.
Evolution = false; // Evolution is false.
God = true; // God is true.
exit(1); // exit program.

Now, applying Occam's razor. Which is probably the better code? The three simple easy to understand lines, or the absurdly long bit of code that wants to know the truth of evolution before we start and makes sure we get the conclusion we assumed?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Blast From the Past.

You forget how far we've come until you look at some old text media pages from a decade ago. Oh, those simple simple people.

You Know You Are Too Serious About Computers If...

* If no one can reach you by phone since your computer is always online.
-- Nope.

* If you can type your top 10 favorite web heart.
-- Who can't?

* If you can locate a particular home page without using a search engine.
-- Does that include the hundred bookmarks?

* If you can write your own html page.
-- DUH!

* If you download more than 20Mb from a binary one session.
-- WOW. You need to spend 2 minutes on those bin sites to qualify for geekdom. What Like I'm going to download 25 seconds spread out over multiple sessions?

* When you find it easier to dial-up the National Weather Service: Weather/your_town/now.html than to simply look out the window.
-- That's certainly not easier. Though clicking the one link on my firefox bar linking to Google which gets an RSS feed of the local weather is actually easier.

* When you order most of what you
-- Um, was this ever a sign of geekdom? Because ouch. I'm writing this on a computer I bought from newegg, next to a nice pile of books I got from Amazon. I'm drinking from a Pokerstars cup I ordered up with some player points online.

* When you log-off from a session in your favorite newsgroup, and your log reads: Online time: 56 hours 24 minutes.
-- Log Off? My current uptime is 5 days and that's pathetic. I've done months on end before.

* If your net provider suggests you try a competitor, because you're exceeding 300 hours a month, connect time.
-- I have a connect time of (24 * 31) = 744 a month.

* When that 112 GB hard drive is full.
-- I had a 120 gig drive that I gave to my roommate. I just handed it to him. Not because it sucked, but because I only have the two systems and the other one has 720 gigs and this one has 1.7 tb and I didn't have the drive slots for tiny drives.

* If 300 Mhz is simply too slow.
-- You're kidding right? The other day my mother picked up an old 700 Mhz system, I chuckled and recommended she throw it out.

* When your desk collapses under the weight of your computer peripherals.
-- Is that a weak desk or does this electronic stuff weigh more than one or two pounds?

* If you can actually talk to the computers in your new car, and understand what they say.
-- There's actually a device for that. It's USB compatible and helps diagnose your car.

* When you modify the programming of your car's computers and actually get better mileage.
-- That's actually a real thing too.

* When you can access the Net, via your portable and cellular phone.
-- Who would, the rates are crazy high. Though, It is only a button.

* When you put a CD-ROM in your car's player.
-- What? Like a burnt CD full of mp3s? Or am I being asked to dig up an old CD-ROM and put it somewhere. Or is a CD simply considered a ROM?

* If every sentence you utter begins with, "On the Net..."
-- Nope. That's assumed. No need to start sentences like that.

* If you put your e-mail address in the upper left-hand corner of envelopes.
-- Hm. That's actually a good idea.

* If you have your e-mail address printed on your stationery.
-- That's actually nearly universal.

* When you insist on seeing the movie "The Net" for the 63rd time.
-- That's actually nearly unheard of. Most people can't stomach once.

* If you maintain more than 6 e-mail addresses.
-- Yahoo, Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, Website bouncer. - Nope.

* If you use more than 20 passwords.
-- Duh.

* If you set up your own Web page.
-- Duh. Though I let it expire. I do have a couple cheap replacements:
These do different things and are both used in different ways. I highly recommend Nearly Free Speech even if you do few things which might require hosting. A purely solid site, pay for what you use. Used them for various things spent 12 cents. Does this blog count?

* If you set up a Web page for each of your kids...and your pets.
-- True by default. I have no children or pets.

* If, instead of a phone number, you ask someone for their e-mail address.
-- And?

* If you don't know anyone who DOESN'T have an e-mail address.
-- What do you mean doesn't?

* If you convince your mom that she HAS to get online because e-mail is so much cheaper than long distance phone charges.
-- We have Vonage. Our long distance calls run through the cable, as such they are free and unlimited. I could call someplace and just leave the phone off the hook. Don't know why though.

* If you can write a list like this.
-- Hardly, I don't even remember how sucky it was back when my torrent client didn't have its own RSS feed, I certainly couldn't remember how bad it sucked a decade ago.

* If you can relate to a list like this.
-- I certainly cannot.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I called it!

Mental note: Edit post claiming John Edwards would win the caucus.

I knew Obama would win the Iowa Caucus!

I'm in favor of mandatory religious education.

I'm in favor of mandatory religious education, Bible reading, theology discussion, interfaith religious discussions, comparisons and everything. Dan Dennett suggested this on the grounds that if you just taught a kid a bunch of facts about all religions then any really militant and fundamentalist faith would be purged simply by being exposed to standard factual information. However, I feel that goes too far. I think we need to go ahead and bring it in with the whole Christian really just trying to convert folks baggage. The first amendment of the constitution is pretty clear that such activities that the religious support and want and would approve this plan just to inject are unconstitutional. So an undefined sort of vague trojan horse of sorts. Basically they get it in to convert folks, a few court cases later and they need to tone it down a little and then a little more. After a while it will end up exactly as Dan Dennett wants, just a secular class concerning facts about religion.

Christmas was brought into the public sphere because folks wanted people to celebrate the religious holiday. It was quickly nipped, picked, and clipped down to the secular bit it is today a winter holiday with songs about snow. What would a whitewashed religion class look like? Exactly what Dan Dennett wants, but this way it would be the Christians who really push for it. Rather than start it out in a clear box... it starts out like an amazing program to bring school children to Christ and quickly gets thrown into a box to save it from the first amendment.

Shorter Michael Coren

Shorter Michael Coren,
Their Disbelief Is My Strength

C.S. Lewis is awesome. God is just hidden enough. Bad things happen because fuck Earth. And I'm rubber and you're glue!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ingersoll Morality

Reading Ingersoll About the Holy Bible at 5 in the morning having stayed up all night. He does make a number of fantastic points.

According to the Bible, picking up sticks on a Saturday and murdering your father on a Monday are equal crimes.

Great one liner.

Iowa Caucus.

I have done a reasoned analysis, crunched the numbers, sensed the winds, viewed the future through the eyes of a cold calculation, looking at massive amounts of data in order to bring you a fantastic prediction about what the Iowa Caucus will bring.

John Edwards will win. His victory will swell the ground game and cause a domino effect sapping strength from the message of Obama (see message of Edwards) putting him into a head to head contest in the national race against Hillary Clinton for the nomination. He will win the nomination and choose Obama to be his running mate (Hillary will be Chief of Staff). A few months prior to the general election, Edwards' wife will tragically die of metastatic breast cancer. The Republicans will debate continuing on their negative message, and despite the fact that only a callous bastard would do such a thing they will continue. Romney's presidential bid will fail, not as a result (he was already down 20 points in the polls at this point anyhow) but it certainly didn't help. And Edwards will be elected with 64% of the vote, to Romney's 30%, with Ron Paul's independent campaign pulling in 7%.

What statistics suggest such a thing? How could I be this impressive with my tabulations of the future? Mostly, I pulled it out of my ass. Heck I had to look up the Iowa Caucus to know it was on the third. Of course I could just say that you have your math and I have THE MATH! -- But, only an ass would do such a thing. In all seriousness I hope Edwards wins the nod. Mostly because I want a slam dunk and kind of want the Dems to pick up several additional senate seats. Think Hillary-hate might drive out the vote on the Republican side, even in states where they stand no chance at winning, costing some minor races their wins. That said, she'd win the general. Heck Kucinich would win the general.

Here's another prediction two years out. The Governator becomes the Senatator defeating Boxer, and Vitter is sunk, both in 2010.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

God Snot, Wishes you a happy new year.

I the only editor and blogger on God Snot, don't however. The blog does, I don't.

Happy New Year.