Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Link Dump 1/27/12

The Irrelevance of Choosing to Be Gay Steve = piss and vinegar

Faith in Doubt  Adam = philosophical and eloquent

It’s official! Internet overuse causes brain damage! Oh wait…no, it doesn’t…

Think I really thought this was well done.

God, Rid Me of God It saddens me that this needs to be written & that people still cling to that which injures them.

Look forward to the death of organized religion: Richard Dawkins

Frothy Mixture: Colleges Diminish Faith He really is the embodiment of all that I despise.

The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children, by Katherine Stewart If you frequent this site I probably sound like a broken record, but Dominionism is kind of a real thing.

BatChristian I love how pissed Adam got after I posted this. He commented twice,...two days apart.

America's science decline Neil deGrasse Tyson and maps! You know you want to click it.

Romney Elaborates on Evolution This has been making the rounds over the Interwebs.’s better than the rest of the GOP field, but there is one problem here: It’s from 2007. No way he still says this.

New Clue to the Origins of Carbohydrates --The building blocks of DNA and RNA

Noah's Ark (Parts 1 & 2) One of NonStampCollector’s best AND I first saw this via Sam Harris’ Facebook page! Pretty cool.

New evidence suggests Archaeopteryx dressed in black Glenn Danzig immediately clones 7 of them to circle over him wherever he goes.

Oklahoma Lawmaker Wants To Outlaw Use Of Human Fetuses In Production Of Food But they’re sooo tasty!

No seriously, this is total bullshit and this legislator is a moron wasting everyone’s time and money.

Independent researchers find no evidence for arsenic life in Mono Lake Science is so dogmatic!

Atheist or Religious, We All Need Good Science Paul Wallace generally makes me cringe, but I can’t really take him to task on his stance here even though it presents a false equivalency between science and religion.

The [in]compatibility of science and religion But Victor Stenger will!

Sex Act Morality Flow Chart Please consult. It could save your soul!

Moralizing’s High Cost

NASA's Kepler Announces 11 New Planetary Systems MOAR!

The Holy Grail of Planetary Astronomy: The Search for Earth's Twin “At night when you look at the stars and you look at the constellations and you wonder ‘Is anyone out there?” just realize that somebody out there could be looking back at us and wondering “Gee, is there any life on this solar system that we call our home?’” - Dr. Michio Kaku

6 Myths Everyone Believes about Space (Thanks to Movies)

Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief, with Jonathan Miller It’s three one-hour clips so not for those with ADHD.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Faith in Doubt

So, What if I’m Wrong?

One of my finer moments in spontaneous atheist apologetics came in my early 20’s at a college campus in a friendly debate with a theist.  I was asked, “If you die and come face to face with God, what will you tell him about why you didn't believe in him?” My immediate reply:

“I’d tell him that he needs better messengers.”

Contrary to the tired theist argument, I do not have any faith in my atheism.  That is to say, I am required by the design of my worldview to doubt and question my own beliefs.  I make a genuine attempt to think about the positions I take and the beliefs I hold.  I argue with myself.  I try to look at my beliefs from different angles and give my best effort to acknowledge my biases and conceptual blind spots.  So as an atheist, I think about the possibility of a Personal God as a real entity.  I admit that this thought experiment usually occurs with a Christian God because; it is the religion of my childhood.  I am occasionally at odds with the confidence many atheists present their views with.  If I have faith in anything it is in doubt.

For most of my religious life I was a deist.  The concept of an aloof and uninterested God made perfect sense to me based on my observation of the world.  When I try to imagine the creator of the Universe occasionally looking at me with an infinite eye, I think about what it must be like to actually be loved by this being and to know that I play a role in His cosmic opus.  

Then Mr. Doubt walks in, adjusts his hipster glasses, takes a sip of his coffee and starts asking questions.  Why would this loving god throw you into an eternal torture chamber for doubting his existence?  Why should this or any god give a damn about you?  Could you really be more interesting to examine than say...a dwarf star?  (Maybe not since there have to be considerably more dwarf stars in the Universe than humans and we have “Reality TV”).  And of course the one we always go back to: Why does the observable Universe look so much like a godless one?  

This is how it happens.  Every. Time.  But the same process occurs with the things I do believe.  I read apologetics' arguments like this.  I pour over alternate arguments.  I poke holes in atheist rebuttals when I see distortions or fallacies.  I have attempted to watch Fox “News” but I keep getting mysterious nosebleeds.

I understand the point theists are trying to make when they say that atheists have a dogmatic faith in science, but this assertion is colored by their perception and projection of concepts like faith and dogma.  We are using the same words, but we mean different things (see Theory vs. Hypothesis).  I have confidence (not faith) in science because it has proven itself to be a worthy tool.  Apologists tend to give science an agency status when making this argument like "you believe whatever ‘Science’ says."  This is clearly a “God Shaped Hole” fallacy to assert that one must have devotion to some idea to compensate for a lack of belief in magic.  Of course science doesn't actually say anything.  The implementers of science say things and they don't always agree.  One can be unshakable (dogmatic) about the process of science because the method has built-in doubt.  The guys in the lab coats call it "peer review."  I say it all the time:  Science is the process we use to describe and predict aspects of reality.  That's all.  When the outcome changes, the method demands that the assessment changes.

Doubt is a virtue to the freethinker.  Why else would it be so poisonous to faith and theism in general?  

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8

So maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe there is a Creator God (probably Mangar-kunjer-kunja ~ [Google him]) and I may stand before him some day and explain my atheism.  Having undeniable proof of the supernatural would not shatter my worldview.  Admitting that I am wrong only happens after I have learned something.  I am much more interested in truth.  

A note to Pascal: Even if you pick the correct god, he would know if you were full of shit.

                                                             ~        ~        ~

I've gone from Jekyll to Hyde
Man to monster
Zen to Karma
Dante to Heidegger
Still too divided to conquer
I've read the words of a man from Galilee
Temporarily abandoned reality
Now I place my faith in doubt
Intellectual alchemy.


Frothy Mixture: Colleges Diminish Faith

I should hope so. Nothing like a nice dose of education and critical thought to clear the fog of revealed “knowledge” and faith.

This is why the GOP and Fundies don't want adequate education. They want to keep us stupid and malleable to their archaic, backwards worldview. It is their attempt to take over the Mountain of Educationwhere truths, or lies, about God and his creation are taught.”  It is a goal of Dominionism.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sex Act Morality Flow Chart

This has been making the rounds today. I'm not above posting it anyway. 

via Friendly Atheist and Joe.My.God. via Boing Boing

Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief, with Jonathan Miller

A three-part series from 2003. Each part is one hour long. Enjoy.

Thanks to the Hardcharger for the heads up.

Friday, January 20, 2012


This is a year old, but it's new to me! The top 10 things I got out of this.

1) How dare they they bastardize Batman this way! BLASPHEMERS!*
2) The only way to square the contradictions in the Bible is by faith. In other words...ignore them.

/sticks fingers in ears "lalalalala"

3) Obsession with blood? check!
4) Persecution/Martyr complex? check!
5) The "Scorner" (S.C. Orner. Clever!) "secularizes" the good Christian family by giving them a copy of the evil Toy Story 3. In a parody of Batman. Derp.
6) Anyone who thinks differently is a threat. They will divide.
7) Anyone who questions faith or religion is to be defeated.
8) Kicking someone's ass in a church for thinking differently is OK. Good to know.
9) "Cast out the scorner and contention shall go out. Yea strife and reproach shall cease." DO NOT THINK FOR YOURSELF. BE A PART OF THE HERD!
10) In the credits the one person asking honest questions about the Bible is simply labelled "Atheist." Yup.

BatChristian from Andrew Garcia on Vimeo.

via Ben O.C. Grimm via Stuff Fundies Like

*I'm sure some fundie will accuse me of worshiping a false idol in Batman. They would be correct.

Friday Link Dump ~ 1/20/12

#StopSOPA #StopPIPA Web StrikeOn Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass Internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill - PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House - to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity. We need Internet companies to follow Reddit's lead and stand up for the web, as we Internet users are doing every day.” ~Left Hemispheres joined in the protest and the site went dark on 1/18/12.  It is unknown at this time if anyone noticed.

The perfidious “liberals don’t love the troops” lie rears its head again | Angry Black Lady Chronicles  "We can accept the sad fact that death is a necessary end of war, but we can also be justifiably appalled at those who revel in death. While the Marines depicted in the video were very likely experiencing the mental ravages of prolonged combat, their stateside apologists have no such excuse. It’s deeply insulting to every member of military, past and present, to suggest that a moral equivalence exists between the behavior of enraged mobs in Mogadishu or Fallujah and the standards of conduct to which our fighting forces are held."

Shit Atheists Say OK, I will admit to saying at least some of these things on occasion.

Some Church Preachers are Really "Closet Atheists" “You see for me, once I lost the foundation of word and I realized the word wasn’t infallible, the religion of Christianity instantly crumbled away."
~ Damn, my job only sucks sometimes.

Ask Richard: Teen Suicides Atheism Covered up by his Parents This is a really touching correspondence between a young non-believer and Mr. Dawkins.

The Blog: Your God is My God: Sam Harris This is a great hypothetical speech that Romney would need to give to get the support of the Republican base.  My prediction is that he will be (reluctantly) given the nomination and will choose an ultra conservative right wing Young Earth Creationist wingnut as his running mate to “energize the base”.  Cloning the politically savvy that McCain used when he opened the Pandora’s box that is Sarah Palin.  Just wait…you’ll see.

Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics! The only thing cooler than this tunblr site is its name.

Curve Ball for Christians Nice little thought experiment to counter the claim that God is the source of morality.

New Batch Of Ron Paul Newsletters Just As Racist As The First I don’t know why but I believe Ron Paul when he says that he’s not a racist.  I’ll bet some of his best friends…are racists.

Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning -- on the order of 6 to 11 points -- and the data should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say.” 
~So before you go quoting this study to your conservative friends recognize that the difference is only statistically significant.  If you don’t know what that means then you’re probably a conservative.

Fischer: God Will Cure AIDS If Gays Stop Having Sex Wait, I thought the purpose of AIDS was to stop gays from having sex…Or was it to kill Africans?  I can never remember.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#StopSOPA #StopPIPA Web on Strike Tomorrow!

On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill - PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House - to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity. We need internet companies to follow Reddit's lead and stand up for the web, as we internet users are doing every day.

Tomorrow, on January 18th, dozens, if not hundreds, of websites will join in a blackout strike to protest this legislation. Left Hemispheres, while a small site, is joining in this protest. 

Please see this page for more information. If you are an admin for a website please consider joining the strike here: SOPAStrike.  

Don't forget to CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES! Both of the above websites have easy ways to do this. Also, for our friends that are not American and think they are unaffected by this; please reconsider. The more sites that join in, the larger the disruption, the louder the voice. Please consider joining. You could even pick a U.S. senator or Representative to email your dissatisfaction. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Link Dump 1/13/12

Guestpost: The Singular Obsession of Rick Santorum another great guestpost from Jason. Look, I don’t think Frothy has a boys chance in Vatican City of winning the nomination, but these people and their fucked up worldview need to be challenged and mocked. Without mercy. Besides, this whole run at the nomination thing is just going to build his “cred” with the Christo-facists so we haven’t heard last of the mixture. 

More fun with Frothy 

Atheists Turn to Self, Others in Times of Crisis, Not 'Invisible' God “‘So why be a Christian? What’s the point?’ The Way of the Master ministry leader posed. ‘Because His promise is for immortality. Death has been destroyed for all who repent and trust in Jesus.’”

That pretty much says it all.

What's Wrong With American Christianity?

Militant Atheism? “When the media and others refer to a “militant atheist,” the object of that slander is usually an atheist who had the nerve to openly question religious authority or vocally express his or her views about the existence of God.”

160 Billion! The New Estimate of Alien Planets in the Milky Way It would be a lazy joke if I made fun of people for thinking that we are the center of it all. I would never do that.

The Known Universe I love feeling ‘small.’ Not like we don’t matter, but that there is so much to learn.

Rick Santorum Now Claims He Never Compared Homosexuality with Bestiality Adam’s comment on this: It's completely pointless to put up this argument regarding someone who is so obviously in love with his hatred for gays. Still the fact that he will not own up to this quote now that his eyes are on the prize is somehow even more sickening.

Global Warming May Make Reptiles Smarter See liberals? It’s not so bad!

Dark matter's 'cosmic web' revealed

5 Founding Fathers Whose Skepticism About Christianity Would Make Them Unelectable Today I take the view that the individual religions, or lack thereof, of the Founding Fathers are irrelevant. They all, regardless of religion or skepticism, saw the wisdom in creating a separation of church and state to avoid the political strife and horrors that the mingling of the two has created over and over again throughout history.

David Barton's (/shakes fist!) 'Outrageous Fabrication' about Thomas Jefferson American History, brought to you by fools and liars.

Magic Mormon Underwear

Did Mother Teresa Protect a Pedophile Priest? Ya know, even I don't want to believe this, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

How your genes can affect your response to religion

Octopuses Edit Proteins to Beat the Cold

MSNBC OUSTS CONTRIBUTOR PAT BUCHANAN OVER RACIST BOOK About time. MSNBC still sucks for ever having him on their network. It’s not like he suddenly said some racist shit out of no where.

The GOP’s Race to the Dark Ages

Pope Benedict XVI: Gay Marriage A Threat To 'Future Of Humanity' Not war. Not global climate change. Not famine nor plague. Gay. Marriage.

I predict Pat Robertson is wrong

“The word of God is, like, really scary.” I’ve seen these on the Internet before and I think they are just photoshopped, but this is something that should happen. I think they would be more effective than some of the other atheistic billboards.

Has Obama Waged A War On Religion? Simply ridiculous.

Reddit to go dark Jan. 18 in protest of piracy bill and so will we.

Not that anyone would notice...

Harris on the free will delusion “... the truth is that free will doesn't even correspond to any subjective fact about us, for introspection soon grows as hostile to the idea as the equations of physics have.”

The anti-Obama cult One of the many things about the GOP that angers me is that they force me to defend Obama. Because their attacks and criticisms are so irrational and deluded I can’t let them slide. Instead we could have a grown up conversation about some of his policies aren’t the best thing for the country. But no...none of that from these freaks. It’s ‘elitism’ this and ‘war on religion’ that. Pathetic.

Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking & Arthur C. Clarke - God, The Universe and Everything Else

How to Spot a Moon Around an Exoplanet

Monday, January 9, 2012

Guestpost: The Singular Obsession of Rick Santorum

When I was told that Rick Santorum had rising poll numbers in Iowa, I did not pay any attention. As far as I was concerned, he wasn’t at the bottom of the barrel of Republican Candidates. Herman Cain was the bottom of that barrel. Santorum was, in my estimation, a fetid pile of shit unassociated with any barrel. He is little more than a political has-been who barely was.  

Until recently, Santorum was sitting inertly at a paltry sub-percentage point support. He had no support and it accurately reflected his performance. Regardless of your opinion on the issues, Santorum was—politely—underwhelming. He provided a few laughs. I caught this clip and had a good laugh when he spazzed out and lost his cool on a few high school kids. And I was absolutely perplexed by his attempts at deep philosophical discussion of the philosophy of language:

I can say that marriage is — Marriage existed before governments existed. This is a napkin. I can call this napkin a "paper towel." But it is a napkin. Why? Because it is what it is. Right? You can call it whatever you want, but it doesn't change the character of what it is. Sort of the metaphysical. Right?

Marriage is what marriage is. Marriage existed before there was a government. It's like, you know, handing up this and saying this glass of water is a glass of beer. Well, you can call it a glass of beer, but it's not a glass of beer. It's a glass of water. And water is what water is. Marriage is what marriage is.

It's like going out and saying, "That tree is a car." Well, the tree's not a car. A tree's a tree. Marriage is marriage.

This is Santorum. By all accounts and in any light, Santorum is a joke. He is a shallow thinker, a poor debater, and someone who has spent his political life as a non-entity at best and an embarrassment at worst. No matter how short the increment, time has value and it should then not be wasted on anyone or anything that has no value. Ergo, until very recently, if time is going to be allotted to any real discussion or real analysis, Santorum should be excluded. But now Santorum appears to be, at least temporarily, a political entity.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Known Universe

The Known Universe from AMNH on Vimeo.

Magic Mormon Underwear

OBSERVATION: If you are afraid that the next president could be wearing magic underwear, I concur.
But please don't forget that our last president thought the Iraq war was a call to arms from God to fight the forces of Gog and Magog in the Middle East.  Just saying.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Link Dump 1/6/12

U.S. supports UN’s suppression of free speech that criticizes religion “We should not let ourselves be bullied by this stance, or by this resolution.  Resolution 16/18 is an offense to the American tradition of free speech, and it’s odious that both Obama and Hillary Clinton are supporting it.”

Congrats to Mittens! I guess...

Cee Lo vs. the Atheosphere: Not Our Best Response

Can All Religion Be True? The Problem With Ecumenicalism Greta Christina jumps into the fray on the Cee Lo incident. I wrote something similar regarding the “all religions are true” tripe back in August; but Greta is far, FAR more articulate than I.

Hitchens' Razor We didn’t create this, but it needs to spread far and wide.

The Hitchens Cento “The noble title of ‘dissident’ must be earned.”

Please help get a statue of Christopher erected in London by signing the e-petition below.

Daniel Dennett - The Magic of Consciousness

Richard Dawkins: The Greatest Show on Earth

Best of Sam Harris Truth be told I decided to find and post a Sam Harris video for Thursday precisely because I realized we had inadvertently posted something from the other three of “The Four Horsemen” this week. My OCD would let me do nothing else.

How Scottish Scientists Re-Created a Hundred-Year-Old Whisky This is important people!

Laughing in Purgatory: Religious Extremism In Israel This is sad and depressing. If ever there was definitive proof that religion does not make you good, without the obvious example of religious violence, this is it.  

Debunked Science: Studies Take Heat In 2011 Ah yes, I see how science is as dogmatic as religion.

Louis C.K. on Blasphemy In my opinion, Louis C.K. is the best comic since Bill Hicks. For example: Are White People Racially Oppressed?

Mapping Out The Revolving Door Between Gov't And Big Business In Venn Diagrams There is only one party in American politics and it does not represent “us.”

Irrational Atheists The difference is to try and recognize your own tendencies and correct them accordingly.

Tim Minchin to Perform at the Reason Rally

Remembering Rick Santorum's Ties to Ron Luce of Cult-Like Group 'Teen Mania'

Bachmann "Suspends" Campaign After Losing Big in Iowa I’ll miss Crazy Eyes and Ladybird. They were fun in their own quirky, bigoted, Christo-facist way.

12 Must-See Skywatching Events in 2012

Will Google, Facebook, others 'nuke' Internet over SOPA? DO IT!

Fellow Americans: our representation is ignorant and utter shit.

Write your Representative to tell them that you DO NOT support this legislation.