Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

So I already told you about the douche-bag in NC that wants to fence off all the gay people in the US.

This guy is as stupid as they get.

Well sadly, and not surprisingly, he is not alone.

Here is a shit smear from Kansas.

And then there is is this.  I am not even sure what to say about this. It looks like child abuse to me.

If these are the people that are "Going to heaven" then frankly I want no part of them or their stupid god.

Thank you all for reminding me why being an atheist is best thing in the world.  Especially if it means I stand for everything you hate or are against.

Again I have to ask, where are the so called "moderate" Christians, the ones that are quick to say to me "they don't speak for us!"  Well until YOU tell them to shut up or tell them they are wrong they do in fact speak for you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Evolution "Debate"

Creationists like to think there is an Evolution debate.  There isn't one.
It's not that Evolutionary Biologists are so set in their ways they can't see other alternatives, it is just that the alternatives have been tested and weighed and retested over the last century.

There is so much support in terms of not just biology (and genetics, and embryology, micro-biology)  but also geology,  and the fossil record.  There is so much data to support it that it would be, to quote Stephen J. Gould, perverse to ignore it.  All of modern biology depends on it.  All our current theories on how organisms live and grow in the environment depend on it.  If it didn't, then we would see it right away.  This is not an arbitrary discussion on something that happened in the past, this is current as how do we create new drugs or gene therapy or even breed animals or plants.

So well supported that Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey that the evolution debate is over.

Though Leakey, as brilliant as he is, is not taking into consideration that Creationists have a vested interest in evolution not being true.

Here is a video of Jerry Coyne discussing evolution, and more importantly however, why can't creationists see the truth?

Here is the entire series,

The key here is that the amount of evidence gathered makes no difference.  According to the video, 64% of Americans will REJECT a scientific fact if it contradicts their religion.  Of course this is a country of Anti-Vaxers too, so I should not be surprised.

Religion is the biggest obstacle to understanding evolution. 
It should be noted that Evolution is the biggest threat to religion, as stated here:

Indeed. Darwin killed God.

You can read more on Jerry Coyne at his blog at "Why Evolution Is True" at

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We Should Be Better Than This

I don't get involved in Atheist politics.
I also don't get involved in the meta-concerns involved in the online Atheist community.

For the most of my life I was the only atheist I knew. When I got to college I met more, but I never was socially involved with them because of their atheism, I was socially involved with them for other reasons.

This blog was created as a means to collect my own thoughts and to connect with others.

Well that all being said that doesn't mean I am not aware of what is going on in the Online Secular/Atheist community.

For example the latest issue is about how there are some famous (but maybe not famous to me) speakers out there that regularly sexually harass the young female contingent of these talks/conferences.  I have seen this before of course.

Here are the discussions if you wish to follow it.
and finally,

Here is the question asked.  First, who are these people and how bad are they?  I guess pretty bad if there is all this text spilled on it.  The next question though addresses the first.  Should we name names?

I see this behavior all the time in gaming. I hate to say it, but gamers as a whole are thoroughly slovenly sub-species of human kind.  While the big name cons like Gen Con are trying for more Family-Friendly fare, and thus more female friendly, they are by and large still occupied by men and many that have no idea how to act around a member of the opposite sex.

That is an uphill battle, and one that we might never win.

Atheists and Secularist SHOULD be better than this.

The entire basis of what we do is one of unfettered intellectual discovery.   As a group we can claim high ACT/SAT/MAT/GRE test scores,  or even care what those letters mean.  We are, supposedly, better educated.  We have looked at the tyranny of Religion and have said, no, that is not right.

Yet. We have this too.

I guess in a way (bare with me now) it is great we can talk about these things.  It means were are mature enough as a movement to be able to have dirty laundry to air or even worry about trying to fix.

It is too bad though at the same time.

We lambast the Tea Party and the Republicans because of how they treat women. We deride and detest religions for doing the same.  Should we not hold ourselves to higher standards?  Yes we are all "just human", but we can be better than that.

We should be better than that.

I am never a fan of a public witch hunt.  Despite what my own morbid curiosity demands.
But I am wondering if we do need to call out our own, knowing full well how it will be seen from the outside.

We would expect the groups we criticize to do this and we would lambast them when they don't.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Not Surprised

So in news out of NC, filed under "Won't be surprised when this guy gets arrested in a public bathroom"...

"NC Pastor Wants To Build Electrified Fence To Contain, Starve And Ultimately Kill Gays: VIDEO"

I was going to say "obviously..." but I realized I couldn't, because I have no common ground with this guy.  I have no idea where he is coming from or what sort of mental defect would make him say what he does or even he really believes this or just want to stir up controversy.

They must know though that they screwed up when their video hit the web.  I went to their website yesterday, and their "Contact Us" page was gone.  Today their whole site is gone.

Now I know what is the inevitable next response, "but all Christians are not like that!".


Cause here is where I am right now.
- Where are the Christians PUBLICLY taking this guy to task?  Where are they saying in the media that this guy is wrong.
- How am I, an outsider, supposed to know who are the "Real Christians" and which ones are not?  Cause you all sound the same to me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Sorry for the delays in posting here, especially to all my new followers that had gotten used to my more frequent posts.

Work has been crazy.

Hope to have either an insightful well thought out post or an off the cuff, half-mad rant soon.

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Loves Blogfest

Here are my first loves

First Album I loved: Thomas Dolby "The Golden Age of Wireless"

First Movie: Star Wars (I have no idea what "A New Hope" is...;) )

First Book: The Hobbit

First Person: Harder, I mean after all the first people you love are your family. So let's go with first person outside of your family. And that can only be...


Specifically, Yvonne Craig's Batgirl from the Adam West Batman TV series.
What's not to love?  She is smart and kicks ass.  Plus she rode a purple motor cycle before Prince was even born (ok, I might need to re-check that date but you get what I am trying to say. ETA: Ok he was 8-9 at the time.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Statistics are a like a Loaded Gun

And frankly some people should not play with them unless they know what they are doing.

Have a look at this christian blog's post.

He posts the graph of PZ's blog hits on Science Blogs,
There is a drop off in hits, a significant one, in fact.  So what does he do?  Look for reasons? Investigate the data?  Look for possible reasons.
Not even close.  He claims victory and says god is on his side.

ah. OK.

Of course there is the little matter that PZ moved over to Freethought Blogs in August, the same time the drop off occurred.

PZ goes into this into more detail (and more for his own enjoyment) that I do.

Here is the Hard Truth.
If you are going to draw conclusions based on a one off observation you better have the data to back it up.  If you are going to make a conclusion based on data, then you better have the hypothesis to be able to predict the data.

See here is how we really do science.
Statement: Christian's are "winning" (whatever that means)
Hypothesis: We should see a difference in blog hits at PZ's blog.
H0: Hits are the same across the last year or greater.
H1: Hits are less.

At this point Pastor Tom looks at the data and runs around screaming victory.
The trouble is that the hits are not down.  If anything they are up in total.
So we have to reject H1.

Science. It just works.

Sorry Pastor Tom.   But your post proves nothing at all.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

There were giants in those days...

Or not.

I have to admit one of my guilty pleasures is watching "Ancient Aliens" on History Channel.  A show (and network) that takes both science and history down a back alley and executes them gang-land style.

This weekend there was nothing else on so I watched it.  This one was about how ancient aliens interacted with dinosaurs and how our ancestors knew about it.   Now before I get into that, I should not have to point out how our ancestors of even a few thousand years ago could have any better of a clue about what happened a few million years ago.  But apparently I do.

So this speculation all grows out of Genesis 6:4 "There were giants in the earth in those days", meaning the fallen angels or Nephelim or whatever.  The implication is that the "Giants" of the bible were the Dinosaurs.

Ok. Sure.

It is a typical Creationism myth that humans and dinosaurs coexisted. Which of course there in not only no proof, there is substantial evidence that there will never be any proof.   Creationist though hold on to this idea for dear life since they know (correctly as it turns out) that a human coexisting with a dinosaur at 65 million years or more before would challenge evolution to it's very core.  But that is not likely to happen.

Of course this got me thinking about the other argument that creationists usually make with this verse.  The existence of giant sized humans.  I once got into an argument online with one guy about this.  It ended as these arguments often do for me; the person I am arguing with deleting all my posts and closing his site to comments.

Let's talk about giant humans for a bit.  If you have been on the Internet for a bit I am sure you have seen this picture.

In fact I still get this one sent to me as "proof" of either the existence of giant humans (and therefore the literal truth of the bible) OR the Great Science ConspiracyTM in action to hide this evidence from the American people.

Of course neither are true.  The photo is from Cornell University and it was Photoshopped.  Here is the original.

You can read more about this photo at Snopes and at National Geographic..

Here are a bunch of others, many appearing in Creationist "Museums".

But what about the guy that decided to delete all my comments?  He said, basically, I could not use evolution, biology or Snopes to prove my point (but oddly enough he cherry-picked his arguments from all the above).  What did I finally say that made him so mad he had to delete all my responses?

I attacked his argument with math.

The trouble with giants, of any type, is they must still behave in ways consistent with this world's physics.  The rules are not different for different animals.  All physical things (living or not) behave as spelled out by the Square-Cube Law.

I won't go into detail about this, you can read for yourself, but the simple fact is a human that large would break their bones every time they walked, a bone that long can't support it's own weight.  There are long bones out there of course, elephants are a great example, but their bones are shaped different.   Galileo even drew a bone for a large human in his 1638 Dialogues.  Dinosaurs likewise have different shaped bones AND we are still discovering more and more about how their bones and structure worked.  Whales of course get the buoyancy of water to help them (which is one of the reasons why a beached whale will die on land).

This is not just simple science, it's simple math.  Yet people ignore this so they can push their own agendas or badly constructed views of the universe.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Amendment 1

Way to stay in the 19th Century North Carolina.

Maybe you should go ahead and cede again cause I am not quite sure I want to consider you all Americans.,0,4283998.story

Something I saw on Facebook the other day that is very true. "The Politicians of today will be the villains in tomorrow's history books."

Now I hope the Democratic National Convention is pulled out of NC.  Though I am not holding my breath.

Banana Man

I don't ask for much really, but if you are going to argue for creationism please at least do your homework.  Failing that at least look it up on Wikipedia.  (Banana on Wikipedia).

Here is evangelist and creationist Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron.  I believe combined they know less about science than most 2nd graders.

See this is exactly why I don't take creationism seriously.  Well, one of the many, many reasons, but let's talk about this one.

So Ray here holds up a banana as the perfect example god's design.  Except that the banana he is holding was designed by people.

This is the banana as it occurs naturally,

It's a near inedible, fibrous mass full of large, hard seeds.  If this was "designed by god as a perfect food" then god hates us.

The point here is this.
We live in a fascinating world full grand, and sometimes sublime, human achievements.

The modern banana is one those grand and sublime achievements.  Not made by a supernatural agent, but by humans over thousands of years of selective breeding, of trial and error, of science.  WE designed the perfect food for US.   And, here is the important part, all of this is documented.  We know it.

To look at, well any of our food, and assume it has always been like that is not just near-sighted folly, it's laziness and stupidity.

Why didn't Ray "Banana Man" Comfort just go look up banana?  Did he talk to anyone that grows them?  Did he talk to a biologist about where they come from?  Either he did or he didn't.  If didn't then that is laziness and points to a strong tendency just to accept the world as is and not question things.  If did and choose not to believe it, then that is just stupidity in the sight of overwhelming data.

That video is not "Atheist Nightmare", that video is pure comedy gold.  It should be called "Creationist Nightmare" because there is no way the creationist can honestly look at this and not be embarrassed by it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z Reflections Post

So the A to Z Blog Challenge is over for another April.  Not sure what I'll do next year, but I am sure  I am going to plan ahead for it better.

How did your journey through the alphabet go? Did you meet new bloggers with similar interests? Are there any you would like to feature and share with others?
Yes.  I joined several new-to-me blogs and found a bunch of books I wanted to read from my travels.

What were the highlights for you? (lowlights too...we want to hear it all)
Highlights for this blog was to get the word out on so man great games out to people that didn't know about them.  Lowlights...trying to do this for two blogs at the same time!

Did you enjoy posting daily? What was your biggest hurdle? What was your easiest task?
I tend to post everyday anyway.  Biggest hurdle was coming up with something appropriate for the letter in question that also fit with my theme.  I had a large number of topics to cover and still have some ideas left over.

Was time management an issue? (I know, silly question, when isn’t time management an issue - but, it is worth reflecting on)
It did cut into my schedule quite a bit to be honest.

And what about your content - did you have a theme or did you wing it? Was it easy to come up with ideas for each letter, or were some harder? 
I had a theme and I stuck with it. But I had thought about it a lot and tried to find topics ahead of time.

How about commenting - did you stumble upon lots of sites still using word verification? Did this prevent you from leaving a comment? What worked for your blog? 
I tried to visit every blog in the challenge.  Yes, I ran into a number that had Word Verification still turned on and it was annoying.   Though much worse than that were the people the had to approve my post/comment and then never did.
I keep word verification turned off. I would rather have it easier for my readers than worry about spam.

What will you do different next year? (Yes, you are doing this next year, you know you are, even if your brain is telling you to run for the hills - it appreciates the exercise)
Try to get more posts in before April!   Craft the posts in such a way to encourage more feedback.

What pearls of wisdom do you want to share with the Co-Hosts of this event? (We would love to hear from you and know what you think would make this awesome event even better)
There were a number of "dead" sites on the list and some were some that didn't link to their blog, but some other page.  You might want to get more Co-Hosts next year to help clean out the non-participants (the ones that signed up then never posted) and dead links.

So I ended up with a bunch of new followers.  50 on the Other Side and almost 20 on Freedom of Nonbelief, and very little overlap between the two. Page views were highest in the start of the Challenge and then tapered off a bit.

I'll participate again next year.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wayne Foundation Charity

Last year I posted about the Wayne Foundation and how they work to stop child sex trafficking.

They are having another Charity drive at DriveThruRPG/One Bookshelf.

All money goes to stopping the trafficking of children as sex slaves/merchandise.

Please consider this bundle of games, fiction and art.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

National Day of Reason

Today is the "National Day of Reason".

In truth this day exists primarily to protest the National Day of Prayer.
Which is fine really, the thought of a national day of prayer is not only a monumental waste of time, but antithetical what this country was founded on.

Everyday should be the National Day of Reason. But unfortunely we don't see that.

For this day I'd like to re-post the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So people can pray or reason anyday all they like.  Just as long as there is no pretense of National endorsement.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yet one more reason I am glad I left the Scouts

I have not talked about it here yet, but I was going to do so eventually.

Once upon a time I was very active in Scouting.  I was a Cub Scout, but dad had been a Den Leader and Scoutmaster.  As I was "shopping" for a troop to join once I had left Cub Scouts I could not shake the feeling that what I was doing was wrong.  Wrong is the right word.

The Boy Scouts of America are, by their own design, a very Christian organization and one that mandates belief. As a Cub I didn't care, but as I got older the hypocrisy was too much.

Not theirs.  Mine.

The Scouts never lied to me. They never misrepresented themselves.  I did. I could not in good conscious be part of an organization that valued truth and honesty if everything I thought they were doing was a sham and everything I said was a lie.

It was hard, but as time went on I came to realize I did the right thing.  The lesson I learned here was that every battle on religion was one I had to win.  Sometimes it was better if I walked away.

Well the Scouts went on too, but they are still have issues of their own to deal with.

An Ohio mother and Den Mother of Tiger Scouts (really young kids) was forced to resign because she was a lesbian.

Now it seems that the hypocrisy is theirs.

They can't claim to be an organization designed to help boys and young men and yet tell certain members of the population that they are not good enough.

To the Boy Scouts of America, look. You can do what you want, you have that legal right. I am not going to tell you you HAVE to do otherwise.  I am saying your SHOULD do otherwise because you are setting an example to the Scouts of today. That example is that some people are not good enough, some people don't matter as much, and some people deserve what they get.  Is that really what you want them to learn?

To Jennifer Tyrrell I say, Don't worry, they don't like Atheists either.