Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Link Dump ~ 4/27/12

Virginia 'conscience clause' allows discrimination in adoption They meant to call it the Homeless Children are Safer on the Streets than with Loving Gay Families Clause.”  Can we agree to stop calling bigoted, prejudicial groups, movements, and legislations by these saccharine euphemistic names?  I propose that we make the following changes:  NOM: National Organization of Criminalizing and Alienating Gay Marriage, Family Research Council: Erroneous Heavily Biased “Research” for Straight, White and Frightened Christians.  WBC: Westboro Baptist Church (what?)  I think in the long run it would help them recruit the true believers without those awkward  moments when kind, socially conscious individuals joining groups with the word “family” in the title only to find out that they just joined a hate group whose definition of family is the repressed iconic 1950’s nuclear family that never really existed.

The Burden of Proof

Vast Structure of Satellite Galaxies & Star Clusters Discovered Surrounding Milky Way --Nixes the Existence of Dark Matter in Universe Science wins precisely because you can say “New evidence calls previously held beliefs into question!” and the immediate reaction is curiosity and skepticism rather than anger and outrage.

Obama and Fallon Slow Jammed the News Can you get political points for cool?  I don’t care that it was a strategic political message aimed at a specific demographic.  He was still on stage with THE ROOTS.

Thinking in a Foreign Language Makes Decisions More Rational Unless you’re a bible translator.

Lawrence Krauss: another physicist with an anti-philosophy complex

Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete?

White House Should Focus on the Constitution, Not the Bible Revolutionary idea, yes?

The first 4,000,000 digits of Pi, visualized in a single image

Nothin’ to Explain – Victor Stenger is one of the select few reasons to read HuffPo.

How much does google know about me?  This is bigger than your porn habits people.  Beware.  

What Particle are you? Caffeine and snark of course.

American Nuns vs. the Vatican Patriarchy Clearly this is an institution that is sick, archaic, unable and unwilling to adapt.”

Breaking: Private company does indeed plan to mine asteroids... and I think they can do it Well, if we “can’t afford NASA” I guess I’ll take it.

Herd Thinking

For Most Of Human History, Being An Omnivore Was No Dilemma In Pennsylvania, it is still legal to use trans fat in your food.  Personally, I think it’s a nefarious plot by New York to take over as soon as we are too fat to put up a fight.

Random Quotes of Pat Robertson's Tired & Confusing Opinion of Science

Knowledge, Belief & Faith

‘Spectrum of Theistic Probability’ Survey  Tell us.  Where do you fall on the Dawkins Scale?

Through These Godless Eyes

What Doesn’t Kill You The psychology of luck.

Why Do They Hate Us? How much does Saudi Arabia hate women? So much so that 15 girls died in a school fire in Mecca in 2002, after "morality police" barred them from fleeing the burning building -- and kept firefighters from rescuing them -- because the girls were not wearing headscarves and cloaks required in public. And nothing happened.”

No 'God Spot' In Brain?

For a dentist, the narwhal’s smile is a mystery of evolution

Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies Awesome site.  They even have posters.

The Great Accomplishments Of Faith

Dawkins' letter to his daughter

Invisible Borders That Define American Culture

Catholic Priest Tries to Use Pascal’s Wager in an Online Debate; An Atheist Politely Destroys Him This is a bit dry, but at least the atheist wasn’t “shrill”, or “strident.”  I hate that.

Announcing the Foundation Beyond Belief International Team

Zoom Out, and You'll See People Are Improving  Cheer up, the people around you are not getting dumber as you may have thought.  We’re all getting smarter.  You are probably just getting smarter before everyone else.  

Modular gene networks as agents of evolutionary novelty  Can I just say that I really like it when PZ talks about science?

Beautiful Minds: Richard Dawkins

Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer “During his trial for the killings of 77 people last summer, Breivik cited the song as an example of Marxist influence on Norwegian culture

Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, research shows

Pictures: Huge "Snowballs" Seen Piercing Saturn's Outer Ring

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Random Quotes of Pat Robertson's Tired & Confusing Opinion of Science

“God created the world; the laws of nature were created by God. True science tries to find out what God put in the world. The trouble is where scientists speculate about theology and they don’t know what they’re talking about because they weren’t there. They can’t speculate about the origins of life because they weren’t there. If they tell you observable phenomenon then we ought to believe them, and I tell you if you find a geologist who tells you something existed 300 million years ago then you better believe them because he knows what he’s talking about. So we don’t want wanna have our religious theory go with flat earth.”

Hmm. Where to begin? This is so stupid I don’t know why I bother. I guess because we keep hearing piss-poor comments and “arguments” like this.
God created the world; the laws of nature were created by God.”
Begging the Question.
"True science tries to find out what God put in the world.”
“True science” cares not for your god or religion. It operates and works just fine without it. In fact—to date—not a single shred of evidence of a supernatural component to the universe has been provided for evaluation or discovered.
"The trouble is where scientists speculate about theology and they don’t know what they’re talking about because they weren’t there. They can’t speculate about the origins of life because they weren’t there.
a) Scientists do not speculate about theology. Theology is the logical study and philosophy of a completely unsupported premise. Scientists can test the claims of theology and they have. Again, not a single assertion based on faith has ever been confirmed,

 b) Conversely, scientists can and do speculate about the origins of life because we have a valid framework within biology to make educated speculations, hypothesis, models, theories, etc. All theists have is an outdated book which is incongruent on every claim about the nature of the universe,

c) One can’t make any claim to knowledge if “they weren’t there?” Tell me Pat and every other Christian in the world that holds this belief: Did you see an empty tomb?
“If they tell you observable phenomenon then we ought to believe them, and I tell you if you find a geologist who tells you something existed 300 million years ago then you better believe them because he knows what he’s talking about.”
 Wait…I thought just he said…
 “…We don’t want wanna have our religious theory go with flat earth.” 
 Too late.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

‘Spectrum of Theistic Probability’ Survey

If you are unfamiliar with the ‘Spectrum of Theistic Probability’ it was popularized by Richard Dawkins in the bestselling book The God Delusion.  It really is a useful measure of one’s belief and some people, regardless of what they do or do not believe, may think a little harder or differently about what they believe if they ponder these categories. 

The categories and quotes are taken directly from Dawkins book. Please read through and consider your answer carefully. If you would like to discuss your reasoning please do in the comments of the post or within the survey if you would like to keep it private. Thank you. 

Through These Godless Eyes

via philhellenes

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dr. Peter Boghossian - Jesus, the Easter Bunny, and other Delusions: Just Say No!

Friday Link Dump 4/20/12

Day of Silence “Sure, other kids might be getting picked on for their clothes or wearing glasses, but the hate and vitriol to a minority group is more of a constant barrage and on a fundamentally different personal level. It’s not that their clothes or glasses are perceived as wrong...”they” are perceived as wrong.”

Firefly & the Firewall of Faith “How does faith "operate" differently to ensure a correct belief?”

A little meme I whipped up for Hitchens’ birthday last Friday night.

Boy Scout leader has membership revoked due to sexual orientation Removed for being straight? Oh wait, no that wouldn't make sense either.

Tandem Quotes: Anders Breivik & Glenn Beck These a-holes think alike.

Life After the Westboro Baptist Church An excellent article by Nate Phelps.

Random Quotes of Lies & Hubris: Tony Perkins

Sunday Sacrilege: Sacking the City of God PZ Myers’ speech from the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia. It is great, but I am really irritated by it because I have half of a freakin’ essay written based on a thesis that sounds nearly identical to this: “The only process of evolution endorsed by any of these religious institutions is of god-guided, directed, teleological change, a mechanism completely unsupported by any evidence, in direct contradiction to known processes, and propped up only by an irrational need to make their holy dogma relevant to human origins.

They’re all intelligent design creationists, in other words, and they’re all wrong.”

Damn it!

Tribute to Christopher Hitchens - 2012 Global Atheist Convention

Obama and the failed war on drugs I disagree with President Obama on a lot of things. I’m not saying this is the worst, but this is the most surprising and perplexing. 

God Particle Discovered This may be my favorite thing Andy at Laughing Purgatory has ever written. Brilliant satire.

Why More Nonbelievers Are Openly Identifying “What nonbelievers are increasingly discovering, however, is that their reluctance to openly identify as secular only plays into the hand of the religious right. By not standing openly as nonbelievers, via the identity of atheist, agnostic, humanist, skeptic, freethinker, or some other identifier that clearly places them outside the umbrella of believers, they are creating the appearance of unanimity on the question of theism: Of course, everyone believes in God, right?”

EXCLUSIVE: ATHEIST MOVEMENT‘S ’GEORGE SOROS‘ SAYS BIBLE HAS ’MORAL’ & ‘FACTUAL’ FLAWS; TOUTS HIS VISION FOR SECULARISM This article is from Glenn Beck’s website “The Blaze.” It is a surprisingly fair and....not....crazy interview. Although I have to laugh at the headline.

Noodles in the Sand

Submit a Nomination for the 2012 President's Citizens Medal PZ Myers, JT Eberhard and Matt Dillahunty have all suggested Jessica Ahlquist. LET’S DO THIS!

An Invocation for Beginnings I have watched this so many times. I just think it’s brilliant.

Girls going wild in red light district This isn’t what you think it is. Watch it. all the way until the end. Then share.

Catholic League ‘Thought Experiment’ On ‘Weeding Out’ Unborn Gay Babies This man...*seethes*...I need to move on...

Tea Party Speaker Reportedly Tells LGBT Protesters: 'We Will Not Be Silenced By F*ggots' Not even remotely surprised.

The Anti-Vaccine Debate: When False Beliefs Risk Public Health “The fun ends when believing nonfactual and unscientific information drives people to make decisions that put a considerable number of others at risk. This is exactly what is happening with vaccines today as some parents choose not to vaccinate their children due to a belief that vaccines cause autism and other health problems, a belief that cuts against the conclusions of the scientific and medical communities.”

Vatican nun crackdown hits US group for 'radical feminist' ideas Jack sent this to me and said: “If there's one thing the [Roman Catholic Church] can't stand it's a group of women thinking for themselves without a man around to make sure they're doing it right ... apparently.”

Catholic Priest Receives Standing Ovation For Shunning Anti-Marriage Equality Petition Drive Good for him and good for that congregation. Fight the Vatican!

The rise of atheism in America

150 schoolgirls poisoned in Afghanistan for seeking an education  ‎"As a source of objective morality, the Bible is one of the worst books we have. It might be the very worst, in fact—if we didn’t also happen to have the Qur’an." -Sam Harris via The Myth of Secular Moral Chaos

Christopher Hitchens - The Problem of God

I think I learned more in that nine minutes of video than when I spent a few hours reading about Epigenetics. Yay Internet!   

Apes' Simple Nests Are Feats of Engineering

Bill would define holding hands, kissing as "gateway sexual activity" Only conservative, Bible-thumping, God-bothering ignoramuses would propose something so stupid. This is just further demonizing sexuality calling it “Gateway Sexual Activity?” We are equating sex to drugs now? You know what is gateway sexual activity? Being alive.

Christians Debate: Was Jesus For Small Government?

Nine planet solar system found, with room to grow

3.5 Hours of Richard Feynman Movies

This is my new mantra: 

“My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass.”   –Christopher Hitchens

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Random Quotes of Lies & Hubris: Tony Perkins

“…over the weekend we saw the news of the President’s Secret Service detail in Colombia and the issue of them hiring prostitutes and now the White House is outraged about that. Actually in a meeting this morning my staff asked, ‘why should the President be upset’? It was actually legal; it was legal there to do that, so why should we be upset? Well, the fact is we intuitively know it’s wrong, there’s a moral law against that.

The same is true for what the President has done to the military enforcing open homosexuality in our military. You can change the law but you can’t change the moral law that’s behind it. You can change the positive law, the law that is created by man, but you can’t change the moral law, it’s wrong. So what you have is you have a total breakdown and you can’t pick and choose. Morality is not a smorgasbord; you can’t pick what you want. I think you’re absolutely right, this is a fundamental issue going forward because if we say ‘let them do what we want,’ what’s next? You cannot maintain moral order if you are willing to allow a few things to slide.” (emphasis added)

--Tony Perkins the president of the Family Research Council, a known hate group.

Welp, they are lying again. Conservative Christians simply cannot base their agenda on truth, logic, or anything valid so they have to lie. It’s all they have. Aside from the absurd notion that the repeal of DADT led to the “moral” decay that allowed good, honest, presumably heterosexual males to screw (female) prostitutes in Columbia; we also get treated to the lie that President Obama is “enforcing open homosexuality” in the military. This is pure dipshittery. The real of DADT doesn’t mandate homosexual soldiers “out” themselves and sashay through the barracks. It allows them to serve without fear of being discharged simply for being gay. The truth is that gay servicemen and servicewomen have served with distinction, honor and valor throughout history; but previously would have been discharged for admitting they were gay or being “found out.” This is regardless of their professional and personal behavior, in and out of uniform. It is the very definition of discrimination; which is antithetical to any valid morality.

Speaking of morality; the hubris that is required for a human to instruct other humans on matters of morality while “speaking” for their supreme deity is immense. How bloated must one’s ego be? Perkins also states that one “can’t pick and choose” which morals to adhere to and that morality isn’t a smorgasbord. I don’t see Perkins or any of these Christians living their lives strictly by Biblically mandated “morals.” If they did they would be in jail—and rightfully so—but even if they ignored the more hateful, murderous and vile “morals” of the Bible to stay legal in our secular society, many would no more adhere to the rest of it. It would be terribly inconvenient for them.

Tribute to Christopher Hitchens - 2012 Global Atheist Convention

via AtheistFoundation

Monday, April 16, 2012

Noodles in the Sand

An Invocation for Beginnings

Apparently Ze Frank has been around for awhile now, but I just ‘discovered’ him over the weekend. This video is only tangentially, at best, relevant to the typical content of this site; but it is too good to not share. I have watched this probably close to a dozen times. One of the best lines:

“Let me find and use metaphors to help me understand the world around me and give me the strength to get rid of them when it’s apparent they no longer work.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

3.5 Hours of Richard Feynman Movies

Friday Link Dump 4/13/12

It is, of course, Christopher Hitchen’s birthday. The first since his passing. I’m drinking to him as I type my favorite quote:  

"I burned the candle at both ends and it often gave a lovely light" - Christopher Hitchens

Rock Beyond Belief Nick’s excellent summary of the atheist event on Fort Bragg. Even Justin Griffith thought so!

Discarding Relativism “...shedding this relativism is a greater moral stance since it doesn’t silence and impede my internal morality which is the only morality I can attempt.”

The Bible Challenge A friendly challenge to any Christian willing to read the Bible with some questions in mind and report back to us.

Are we Sheep? That damn sheep really is creepy.

Teen Pregnancies Highest In States With Abstinence-Only Policies Psst...also the most religious...

Guestpost: Attitude Inoculation Guestpost from Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo. That’s the worst name I’ve ever heard.

Minimalist posters explain complex philosophical concepts with basic shapes

Of what use is philosophy?

Bruce Lee: “Be water, my friend.” I love Zen Pencils.

Would You Believe In God Because A Church Is Nice?

Tennessee antievolution bill passes the House  Zod damnit Tennessee...

Darwin's Acid by Baba Brinkman

The Amazing Trajectories of Life-Bearing Meteorites from Earth

Sam Harris ~ The Illusion of Free Will

Jessica Ahlquist Gets Nasty Hatemail Heinous people.

Locked Out: How the Church Responded to their Pastor’s Coming Out That famous Christian love again! My how the apostasy stings.




Peter Boghassian has made the rounds this week! I saw posts from Friendly Atheist, Atheist Revolution and friends sent me these two articles: Should We Challenge Student Beliefs? and Faith No More. The dude is pretty boss.

CCOKC - Child Celebrities Opposing Kirk Cameron Awesome.

Scientists Closing in on Black Hole at Center of Our Galaxy

The Responsibility of Religious Moderates for Religious Extremism a great quote by Nate Phelps in this post. Also, Vjack inserts one of his old posts on the subject so I’ll do the same: Everything In Moderation? Maybe Not.

An awesome graphic of the deepest lakes and oceans from xkcd.

Will This Post Make Sam Harris Change His Mind About Free Will? A rebuttal to Sam Harris. Sam posted this article on Facebook with the following message: “John Horgan of Scientific American subscribes to my email list and complains that I ‘keep emailing’ him. The man's a genius.”

I lol’d.

Reasoning the Unreasonable

Free Will and “Free Will”: How my view differs from Daniel Dennett's and suddenly I realize how much Sam Harris is in this FLD. Oh well...

Fox’s misinformation effect Conservatism survives only via authoritarianism and lies.

My definition of a conservative.

Experts: Norway mass murder suspect sane and some wanted him to be declared insane so bad. Why?

Huh. No mention of organized, hierarchical religion as a result of agriculture? Pretty good video other than that. Oh and the snail thing...don’t know about that.

Was Jesus Happy? So one projects their personal and cultural beliefs onto their ideas of a higher being? Shocking!

Bill Hicks Last Performance

Shaking Off the Cobwebs of the Crypt: The Evolution of the Zombie The author of this article has an awesome last name.

Zombie survival Google Map allows you to find food and guns for the undead apocalypse

Speaking of which...Saturday Matinee Monsters

Mass atheist suspension on Twitter So this happened...

A parable I read that I really like:

An old man walking along a beach at dawn noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth he asked what he was doing. "The starfish will die if they are still on the beach when the sun roasts them with its mid-morning heat," came the answer. "But the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish," countered the old man. "How can your effort make any difference?" The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and threw it safely in the waves. "It makes a difference to this one," he said.  --Unknown