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A lot of readers routinely complain about the ads. You know some of the ads are rather inappropriate since atheists are less likely to advertise about religion than religious people and quite honestly it amuses many a reader to see advertisements about the saving grace of Jesus alongside my distinctly atheist viewpoints and often ungodly ideas.

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One of the limitations so far is that this service only uses Paypal, which does unfortunately exclude some people from being able to participate. Jason will be attempting to integrate other payment gateways as his limited time allows. This work is done by him on a volunteer basis in addition to all the other things he does, so please have patience if it takes some time.

If there are bugs, please report them directly to Jason by clicking <a href=”“>here</a>.

Not the Ducks – Suzanne Somers, Quackery and Fearmongering

Suzanne Somers joins a long line of celebrity figures who espouse the evils of universal healthcare with her rather shocking piece on the Wall Street Journal.

It’s shocking to begin with because there is on that page without any sense of irony a little advertisement that says (and this is verbatim)

“Read More From the Experts”. [Read more…]

Polio is Back

Syria has confirmed that it has 12 cases of Polio indicating a major outbreak as the national vaccination program has effectively been crippled by warfare.

Especially with anti-vaccination concerns in places like Northern Africa and places like Yemen, there is a rather large worry that this could spread and overturn genuine progress made in fighting the disease.

And while the origin of this polio raises questions (where did it come from?) the fact remains that Polio is out of it’s bag in one part of the world and the transmission of refugees mean it probably won’t stay there for long.

As casualties and victims of war go this is a rather tame one but must all casualties of war be bullet and explosive based?

Social Justice, A+ and “Not Getting It”

Naw. Just completely Naw. I’ve tended to agree with almost everything you’ve said in the past, to the extent I’ve been able to understand it without a master’s degree. But this? Fuck that shit. You, Ophelia, and Murdock are all simply wrong. I see in your slimy sounding reply to comment 6 that you’re referring debate about the morality of this to Murdock’s site, so I won’t waste your time with my reasoning, but the fact you three see no problem with this shows a shocking lack of empathy. Basically, you’re so into the activist message (a fine thing to be) that you’ve let yourself be completely blind to the harm this kind of thing can cause.

So Murdock can’t use facebook now. Boo fucking hoo. It ain’t the only social media in the world, and sometimes fuckups deserve consequences. Many people who would otherwise be in agreement about almost everything you guys stand for will not go to bat for this one. Consider it, if you’re willing.

So what’s this about?

Basically? Some people think

1. The lack of trigger warnings on a facebook post about “Virgin Checking” in Africa.

2. The subsequent banning of the poster

3. The usage of the photograph

Needless to say? There are TW here with regards t this topic (again).
[Read more…]

It’s A Sin

Being gay is a sin. We may think it’s laughable to think so but remember religion’s power comes through guilt. That any time you are having fun you are in fact damning your soul to eternal torment and that you are nothing but sinful.

And this has a terrible effect on people. [Read more…]

The Moral Majority

In every nation there exists something called the “moral majority”. It’s a self identified group of holier than thou activists who believe  that they are so wholesome and good that their way of life is the only way of life to follow. These people are usually self identified as religious, either right wingers or identify as libertarians (primarily because real society forces on us a series of rules that prevent the kind of dickishness that the moral majority dream that they could apply to the rest of us.). A good example of the fight for morality is the Moral Majority Alliance in the USA which includes such stellar organisations as the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and Liberty Alliance. It boggles the mind as a foreigner that such associations can name themselves such while being anti family and anti liberty.
For example the Liberty Alliance actively campaigns against Hate Speech Laws. The rules that protected black people from racists also helps protect homosexuals from… well people in the Liberty Alliance. They actively campaign against laws protecting against discrimination, because freedom means freedom to be a giant bigot. They think that the bible gives them the right to define what marriage is, preventing gays from getting their marriages recognised. They think that gay people should not mention their personal lives in the military solely because of who they chose to have sex with.

From Goo To You via Woo

The Huffington Post while critical of american right wing movement also plays host to some of the most amazing woo merchants in the form of Deepak ChopraBruce Lipton and Gregg Braden whose recent forays into the depths of pseudoscience have produced the idea of spirituality based science.This idea is a mix of religiously evocative ideology mixed in with science to give precedence to their metaphysical nonsense.

For instance Gregg Braden’s article evokes the idea that the world is ending based on our decisions. No it’s not. What’s happening is a shift in our energy considerations where we need to focus more on alternative and long lasting sources of power. If Needs Be then we need to utilise nuclear power because not everyone can afford building millions of windmills to power their nations. Every previous generation has had the same decision making process as we do to improve the world, it’s just that we are seeing the improvements now as we speak in greater fuel efficiency and better green technology that’s coming through.

It then goes into a spiral of lunacy stating that Spirituality linked with science gives meaning to our lives. Which it really does not. What he is describing is a pacifier. A way of shutting up a child, not a way of truly utilising your brain. But that’s not the best bit. It’s this paragraph.

The spiritual traditions that I’m describing are the core principles of ancient and time-tested understandings — principles now confirmed by 20th century science that include the interconnected nature of all things, the power of the human heart to positively influence the magnetic fields of the earth and all life, and the cyclic nature of life, climate, civilization and change. The spiritual traditions of our ancestors got these principles right and embodied them at the core of their lives in their time. It’s the marriage of these holistic principles with the best science of today that helps us to tip the scales of life, balance, and peace in our favor.

This is the point where we should slap the writer and take away his pens. This isn’t science this is industrial strength nonsense. Yes stuff is connected in nature and we know that. But nowhere has the spiritual traditions of our ancestors had any idea on how to utilise the environment ethically because IMHO most of our ancestors were kind of stupid by our standards. Just like their ancestors were kind of stupid. It’s a continuing trend by our civilisation to improve our knowledge and be less stupid that is the driving force of progress. Not spiritual balance principles.

Bruce Lipton continues the woo where Braden leaves off grasping at greater depths of unscientific knowledge and pseudo-science. He has seen the challenge laid down by Braden and has stepped up to prove that he is the true master of pseudo-science limbo starting with this lovely gem.

New science revises four fundamental beliefs that shape civilization. These flawed assumptions include: 

Are you holding onto your seats?

1) The Newtonian vision of the primacy of a physical, mechanical Universe;
2) Genes control biology;
3) Evolution resulted from random genetic mutations; and
4) Evolution is driven by a struggle for the survival-of-the-fittest.

Newtonian physics works fine as a model for us, since applying quantum mechanics to everything really is daft when we behave in a newtonian fashion. But that’s not my forte. You should not take my word on it, I may be (and quite possibly am) wrong on this subject.

No I wish to point out that points 2,3 and 4 are pretty much misunderstandings of basic biology. Genes do control biology. It’s not even an issue. It’s not a theory it’s law since the proof is seen when we tinker around with DNA causing massive changes to biology. Evolution however is due to changing allele frequency driven by the survival of the fittest concept. However the problem is people keep assuming that fittest means strongest and brawniest forgetting that fitness solely means “ability to survive”. Those that survive the best pass on their genes more than those who do not. If your genes produce a survival mechanism then you survive more. If humanity were like deer, I would not survive as I wear glasses. However since we are the badass tool builders of awesome that we are, I survive solely through my intellect rather than my ability to run fast and  detect leopards.

The article then goes into complete overdrive with this gem.

The exciting new science of epigenetics emphasizes that genes are controlled by the environment, and more importantly, by our perception of the environment. Epigenetics acknowledges that we are not victims, but masters, for we can change our environment or perceptions, and create up to 30,000 variations for each of our genes.

Epigenetics is the science of genetic expression based on non genetic principles such as control mechanisms such as methylation and histones.  We are still reliant on our genes and cannot do anything to change them the way this person thinks.

Also where does he get the 30,000 variations idea. It’s just such an arbitrary number.

Finally we come to Deepak Chopra whose metaphysical woo is phenomenal. In it he fails to understand consciousness. Consciousness is a by product of having a brain. It is the idea that the neuronal configuration leads to our personality and that is a product of our upbringing. Adventurous parents will have adventurous kids. Protective parents will have shy kids.

Consciousness is proven to be a transient state since it can be altered via drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, ecstacy and LSD producing different states ranging from extroversion, introspection and euphorias. In a more permanent sense we see the mental scarring caused by disorders such as PTSD where are conscious thought process is broken due to a traumatic event. We further see physical disruptions caused by head injuries and strokes that lead to altered consciousness.

What Deepak Chopra is trying to sell is the modern interpretation of the soul. The ability to control something out of our control (The biochemical process of our body) dressed up as consciousness.

There is no alternate world view in science that encourages this kind of thinking. There is just pseudo-science and the attempt to sell a whole bunch of books. It’s an attempt to give evolution a spiritual meaning that it does not possess and an attempt to delude people into believing a lot of pseudo science that Chopra and his ilk sell under the guise of science.

I am with Dr. PZ Myers on this one. The Huffington Post should know better than to give these people a platform and encourage their nonsense.

The Devil is in the Soup

Lou Landrum is the executive director of Spartanburg Soup Kitchen and I fear she has doesn’t realise what the word “charity” means.

You see charity, “real” charity isn’t done under the narrow band of faith but it is open to all to both partake and participate. Charity if discriminatory is not charity but a farce. It means that the purpose of charity is lost.

Charity doesn’t exist for you to feel good about yourself. To feel holier than thou. It exists to do a job. The job comes first. In this case? Feeding the homeless of Spartanburg.  [Read more…]

Evilution II – Caveman Boogaloo

Bryan Fischer joins the three pronged attack on Evilution where he has four points that disprove evolution and thus prove Governor Rick Perry as awesome and on the ball, not a backward hick with no knowledge of science.

Bryan Fischer is normally a hate filled sorry excuse for a human being whose crusade to deny homosexuals basic rights is well known. But here he dabbles his feet in the murky waters of creationism to defend Rick Perry which just is pathetic. He parrots out old hackneyed defences of creationism that simply don’t even stand up to the mildest of scrutiny.