Monday, October 29, 2012

The Left Hemispheres Podcast Episode 5.5 More Halloween Hijinks

Steve, Adam and Jack continue their conversation from last week with discussions about Slenderman and Jesusween. As afore mentioned we had some leftovers from last week's show and we decided that rather than let them go to waste that I'd cut up a little bonus episode. It's not a full episode, but we're still recording this week despite Huricane Sandy and there'll be another full episode this weekend.
Enjoy and Happy Halloween.

Check out this episode!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Known Universe ~ Hans Zimmer - Time

Friday Link Dump ~ 10/26/12

Monday, October 22, 2012

BEHIND THE VEIL: Never-Before-Seen Footage of Secret Mormon Temple Rituals

All you need is enough people to believe and a tax-exemption and you too can turn your contrived cult started by a known fraud into a "respected" religion. Maybe even get one of your cult leaders elected!

via newnamenoah (shared by Peter Boghossian on Facebook)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Left Hemispheres Podcast Ep. 05: Halloween Spooky Doom

This week Steve, Adam, and Jack discuss Doctors who claim to have seen heaven, Free speech, and Halloween Myths

(Note: We know this episode is a little late to air, sorry about that. Had some real world problems that prevented me from cutting the episode on time. However, we have a lot left over from this episode so I'm going to try and cut a bonus episode with all the stuff that didn't fit between now and Halloween. :) -Jack)


Friday, October 19, 2012

LH Podcast is Delayed. Here's David Attenborough's Version of "It's a Wonderful World."

Due to "real life" getting in the way, the Left Hemispheres podcast episode 05 will not be released tonight. It will, however, be released this weekend so please stay tuned.

In the meantime,

Missouri Preacher Beautifully Trolls City Council!

Wait for it...

via Gawker

Friday Link Dump ~ 10/19/12


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Romney is a Never Nude

"Replace the word 'gay' with my name."

The following is a status update of a friend on Facebook. I wouldn’t normally share a Facebook status, but this is a brilliantly simple point along on the lines of “if being gay is a choice when did you choose to be straight?” retort. Please share this in whatever manner you may choose.

I am sharing this status because I feel it truly strikes a chord and as an LGBTQ ally I feel this needs to be said because I could replace Kristen's name with many of my friends' names and even thinking that people would feel this way about them breaks my heart.

From my friend Kelly Stewart's friend Kristen:

Dear Friends who are thinking about voting against same-sex marriage:

When you hear or read the "anti" side making comments about gays, replace the word "gay" with my name.


Kristen getting married is a threat to all families.
Kristen cannot be a good parent.
Kristen doesn't love, it is only lust.
Kristen shouldn't be allowed to marry.
Kristen is what is wrong with this country.
Kristen is 'fixable' with electroshock therapy
If Kristen can marry then we should just let people marry animals.

I hope that this contextualizes the argument for you.

The "gay movement" is simply about people who are in love and want to spend their lives together. It’s about a legal recognition and protection of my commitment to my partner and eventually our family.

Now, back to my "gay lifestyle" (grading student papers, editing a manuscript, preparing a conference presentation, supervising family therapy students, maybe getting frozen yogurt later...).

The horror

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Like Smoke

Some people still believe that *fossils were put underground by by God (or Satan) to test our faith.  This appears to be a small subset of Young Earth Creationists. Some believe that due to the biblical account of history, dinosaur bones cannot be older than a few thousand years.  This is a ludicrous claim and I have no intention of writing a “Creationists be crazy” post.  What I find interesting about this claim and others like it is the psychological process of denying objective reality.  Any belief that is maintained in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is usually the case for two reasons:

1. The individual is sheltered or insulated from external ideas or otherwise uneducated/undereducated about contradicting concepts.
2. The individual is aware of alternate ideas and has discarded their content or their source.

The Young Earth Creationist dogma is a perfect example of this sort of willful ignorance because it follows the skeleton of a rational argument.

A.  If the bible is written by  God
B. And the bible reveals the age of the Earth to be less than 6,000  years old.
C.  Then the Earth is young.

Imbedded in this message is a toolbox for discounting any idea, no matter how reasonable or factual that does not gel with the identified religious ideology.  It’s the ultimate appeal to authority with the semblance of a syllogism.  It provides the framework for every other unsubstantiated claim.  We can simplify it even more to apply to an entire worldview:

A. If the bible is written by God
B. And there are facts that disagree with the bible’s claims
C. Then those facts are wrong

Armed with this basic thought process, a believer is free to disregard any evidence to the contrary of the the claims they make.  They are not subject to the laws of nature: their God lives outside of these laws.  They are not subject to the shared reality that most of us inhabit.  They see the world as it “truly” is.  You cannot pin down their God to any criteria of character or abilities.  He is the Alpha and Omega.  He is the perpetually moving goalpost.   You cannot hold the idea of God in your hands.   Just when you think you have him, he’s gone.  

You simply can not prove the existence of a being without identifiable attributes.  If this were any other claim, it would be laughable.  Here’s where they get you.  Due to the self-contradictory content of scripture,  people can make virtually any specific assertion about the will of God.  They can mine any quote or “interpret” any text to promote any agenda.  Their claims do not need to stand up to logical scrutiny because of the built-in ultimate appeal to authority.  In the end, your claims about God’s will says more about you than about God.

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." ~ Susan B Anthony

They can take this amorphous concept and bend it to whatever end they choose. The tenets can and often do change with the speed of revelation. If you believe that human nature is foul and depraved, your god is likely to be Angry Authoritative God.  If you think that all humanity is cut from the same cloth (and that cloth is full of rainbows and sunshine) your god is probably the Warm and Fuzzy God.  Take your pick.  There are plenty of biblical references to support both.

*Author's note:  I found dosens of internet conversations/blogposts about the Creationist (Christian, Mormon and Jahova's Witness) claims that fossils were planted by Satan to test humanity's faith but I could not locate any books or essays from theists on the subject. If any of you can find them please leave links in the comments.  Thanks.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sierra DeMulder ~ Eleven Years

Matthew Shepard was murdered 14 years ago on October 12th in Laramie, Wyoming.  I wanted to post this the moment I heard it.  His story is a harrowing reminder of the destructive force of bigotry and hatred.

Sierra DeMulder is one of my all time favorite poets.  When you recover from this poem: visit her tumblr site and buy her book.

To learn more about Matthew's story or to make a donation, visit the Matthew Shepard Foundation here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Link Dump ~10/12/12

Our Stuff
     It's been a video-filled week for us.
News from the U.S.
News from the Wider World
Happy Stuff

Matt Dillahunty's explanation of this.  I think he has some good things to say that apply beyond the incident itself.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Evolution by QualiaSoup

via QualiaSoup

If you want to watch the original version to see how knowledge changes (evolves?) check it out here.

Why LH?

Why the hell are we doing this?

This is a question that has been asked a quite few times during our back channel discussions.  It seems like week after week we are beating our heads against a wall of stupidity. And every time we make a crack or knock out a block, theists slap up the same brick of idiocy and adhere it with the mortar of repetition.  Not to mention all of the ridiculous bullshit that has been going on in the Atheosphere.  We’re a small blog.  Our readership is mostly a handful of regulars (and we thank you, one and all).  Even on Facebook and G+ we only have a few hundred followers, while pages that do nothing but re-post the same tired memes get tens of thousands.  We’re lucky to get one comment compared to the hundreds that “Global Secular Humanist Movement” or an FtB post gets, even though we’re sometimes weeks ahead in getting a story out.  And admittedly, one of us does the majority of the heavy lifting around here (It’s not me), which has to be tiring for him.  So why are we still doing this?  

I’d like to think that we’re helping to stem the tide, but I don’t know, because we don’t get the feedback.  We don’t even have theocracy-promoting trolls to use as a gauge.  And I’m not sure why.   Is it the layout?  Our writing?  Is it the quagmire that is Blogspot? 

Despite all this, we do continue on.  We've even expanded by starting to do a podcast, which I think is going pretty well.  I got to interview Taylor Muse of Quiet Company, and participate as a member of the press at Rock Beyond Belief.  I hope to do more like that.    

The mainstream media only picks up the stuff that appeals to our community when it can be spun into some sensationalist pap in support of the status quo, or to warn them of the “atheist threat” (The Black Hand is coming!).  This is the main reason why bloggers, vloggers, public speakers and authors are so vital to the secular community.  As Jello Biafra once said, “Don’t hate the media, become the media!”  So, for me, that’s why I do this.  That’s why I want to continue to do this. 

We live in a society that is still dancing to the beat of an imaginary drum; and without those voices, however small, to bring attention to that fact, the creeps organizing the conga line win. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Universe Is In Us

If anyone has ever doubted that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the true and proper heir of Carl Sagan, let them forever be dismissed. No one has captured the sense of universal splendor and awe, along with our connectivity to reality, quite so well since the words were spoken, "Consider again that dot."
via MaxSchlick

The Left Hemispheres Podcast Ep 04 - Andy, have you had enough rum yet?

This week Adam, Steve, and Jack are joined by Andy from Laughing in Purgatory subbing in for Nick. They discuss the first presidential election debate, Jesus having a wife, how language determines thought, blasphemy, Deepak and more! As always questions, comments to:, find us on facebookGoogle+, or twitter (@lefthemispheres).


Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Link Dump ~10/5/12