Thursday, September 27, 2012

Creationism Curriculum

Here is an older news story, but one that focuses on what I think are the things I need to be looking at.

For starters this is an easy target.
In truth most Christians are not young Earth creationists and this represents a minor fringe.
But there is another market that books like this are targeting other than conservative schools.  These textbook companies are going after the home school market.

I don't have the data in front of me, but I recall that a significant proportion of home schooling parents site religious reasons as one of the main reasons for home schooling their children.

This goes back to Bill Nye's plea of don't teach kids creationism.  I think that book example explains why.
Even if you don't mention a specific god you basically teaching children that magic exists.   That there is a supernatural agent in the natural world.

I like reading about magic as much as the next person.  I have professed my love for the Harry Potter books many times and I write about witches.  But that is all fiction to be enjoyed as fiction.  Not as science.

Science and history is just as, no, even more fascinating than fiction.

You can't stop these textbook companies from printing this garbage (nor should we try) but we can educate children, parents and teachers on what a steaming pile of bullshit creationism is.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nude Atheists

There is a new nude/nudish calendar of Atheists being put together by Secular Woman and being funded at Indiegogo.

So you pay some money, see some atheists au natural and the money goes for funding conferences and other activities at Secular Woman.

This of course means that some people in the atheism/secualr/skeptic community are not that pleased.

Now Rebecca Watson, aka Skepchick, is many things in this.  She has a great blog, she was the focal point of Elevatorgate* a while back and she also posed nude for a skeptic calendar.  One might think this was hypocrisy on her part.  I say no.

It's not hypocrisy because she is coming at this all from a very different point of view now.

She makes some valid points in her blog post, but I still feel that Secular Woman needs to move ahead with their plans.
Secular Woman is trying to reach out to many types of people here both in terms of audience and in terms who is pictured.  I do feel we can be sexual beings and not be sexualized.

Or if you wish just donate the money and get your naked people elsewhere.

*I don't want to get involved in Elevatorgate at the moment.  I don't know enough about it. I am not likely to go to any atheist conferences. And frankly I don't want to choose sides in this till I know more.  I am however interested in how the same sort of issues effect my hobby and I talk about that on my gaming blog, The Other Side.
In the meantime here are some Elevatorgate links. Chosen because they have overviews of what happened.
Please keep in mind I am still learning all this stuff myself.  I am going to have to come back to this sometime.

Fight on Bill Nye

Bill Nye has leveled some serious criticism against creationism.

In a nutshell, he doesn't care what you think or do, but please do not subject you children to this stupidity.

Here is the original video:

And some recent news articles where the creationists respond back:

My ONLY beef with all of this is this.  Why are we still having this debate?
This is 2012. Not 1712 or 212.

One one hand evolution has the weight of science, data, history, genetics, biology, geology and embryology all behind it.  Creationism has some book of questionable authorship and validity written in a time when people still didn't understand Germ Theory.

It boggles the mind really.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What Makes this Blog special?

There are a lot of atheism, atheism+, skeptic and free-thought blogs out there.
Even the list I have to the right isn't all of them, it isn't even a portion t be honest.

What I need is to find a way to set this blog apart from the others.  Something that makes it unique.

I am not a biologist or classical scientist, so I can't come from that point of view.

I am not really an angry atheist, nor am I particularly a "friendly" one since I still believe that most beliefs in gods are a sign of weakness.

What I am though is an educator.  I teach, I write curriculum.  Maybe that is my niche.
As this blog moves on from one of self-discovery, or at least one of public self-discovery, then maybe that is the direction I need to go.

Who knows really.  I want this place to evolve naturally.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Evolution is True

Some great videos on evolution that were posted to Darwin Killed God.

Simply put this mechanism is far more complex than any of it's critics have or even can give it credit for.

My stance from now is if you deny evolution then obviously are either not smart enough to understand it or are being willfully ignorant.

Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Open Letter to A+

As I have said in the past, I have no issues with Atheism+. Indeed, it sounds like what I have been doing all this time anyway, or at least tried to do it.

There are some in the Atheism+ movement that seem to be doing the same thing that they were supposedly against.  I know...broad stereotypes, but there it is. Out there.

Here is an interesting video about the positives and mostly negatives of the Atheism+ movement.

C0nc0rdance gives us his point of view.

The big issue for me I guess I am not as involved with A+ as a movement as I could be.  I have stayed out of the larger picture of this; something that I used to feel bad about.  Everyone likes to be part of the "cool group" and A+ is the cool group.

Now I think I am happy to stay over here in my little corner of the net and trying to do my own thing.
When I agree with you all, GREAT! When I don't, well that is no big deal really.

I wish A+ the best and I wish the movement success.  I hope they don't fall into the traps mentioned above.

I will still considered what I do to be Atheism+, more or less, or as I have just always called it, Atheism.

Monster Bloghop

It might be a little self-serving but I am joining my own blog hop.
Here is the information from my other blog, The Other Side.  I have the perfect creature to work with this blog too!

This year I wanted to do something extra for Halloween (which in my mind is the entire month of October).  So I am going to be hosting the MONSTROUS MONDAY Blogfest!

The rules are really simple.
  1. Sign up below
  2. Grab a button and link back to my site
  3. Post your Monster on Monday October 29th 2012!
That's it!

What kind of Monster?  Well that is up to you really.  I am going to be posting Monster stats.  You can do that, or post a monster you like/love/hate, or tell us about the monster in your new book coming out.  Anything would be great really.

Here are some buttons/banners for your use.

Right-click on the picture you want and re-size as needed.
Please link back to

You can sign up here now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jessica Ahlquist in Illinois

and the Illinois Family Institute is mad about it.

First reported by The Friendly Atheist, the IFI has their granny panties all in a bunch over the fact that Jessica Ahlquist is speaking to some local schools during constitution week.

You can read their diatribe here:

Hemant Mehta, and I have to say myself, suggested using their own email system against them to praise the schools and condemn the IFI.

Well,  it turns out that IFI was not too happy about that either.

To which Hemant replies,

I am glad that Hemant reported that Jessica is doing good with no problems from theistic hate mongers like the IFI.

If you want express your gratitude to the schools that sponsored Jessica please go here.

Please remember to be courteous and respectful.  Also, I would like to add, call AFTER 10:00am Central.  Schools get a lot of calls in the morning from parents, please don't tie up the phone lines for them.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Genre Blogfest

Alex J. Cavanaugh's The Genre Blogfest.

In this blogfest I need to talk about my favorite Genre of Movie, Book and Music.  Plus my guilty pleasure.

So here we go!

My favorite is still Horror.  I love all that scary stuff.

I would have to say Classic metal or even classic rock.  I still love to listen to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Dio.  My wife accuses me of living in the past, I prefer to think of it that my tastes are so refined that I know what I want.

Again, gotta say horror, but I enjoy the Modern Supernatural genre as well.  The ones where it's all teh same creatures as horror, but living in the world of today.  Things like The Dresden Files.  I do still enjoy fantasy.

Guilty Pleasure
This is a hard one.  I have so many!! Well, so many that others might call guilty, I don't feel any guilt in these.
But to narrow it down to one...well that can only be my love for really, really bad movies.  I am not talking your average B or C movie, I am talking about Z grade, unfit for human consumption.  Things they might have considered doing on MST3k, but were to bad.

What do you enjoy?
Read what others have posted too:

See what everyone else is doing!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Goodbye Blag Hag

Jen McCreight, AKA Blag Hag, has stopped blogging for the time being.

I respect her choice and her reasons for this choice, even though it means I am loosing something I liked.
I liked her blog, I liked reading it.  This blog exists partially because I was reading hers.

Here is what sucks the most about the whole deal.
It was not the religious right or creationists or god-soaked morons that caused her to stop blogging.

It was other atheists.

Now I don't expect or pretend that atheists are all so similar that when together it is all hugs and parties. We are loosely aligned group of individuals that have other causes.  I think in a way that is what Atheism+ was all about, to unite more of our similarities.

It sucks that so many though had to violate the common decency to harass Jen.

It is too bad she is gone, but I hope this give her a chance to recharge her mental batteries a bit.

Hopefully I can say, in my own limited way, some of the things she would have wanted to say.