‘scientist’?

Someone I don’t know tweeted this to me:

Hello my friend Aron. What is your opinion about this short conversation between a Christian & a scientist: ?

Not even an hour later, that person (called Bieber) posted “still waiting”, as if I must be aware of the tweet, but that am perhaps intimidated or otherwise hesitant to respond.  I guess they think I live on Twitter and that I don’t do or see anything else. I rarely even check it, because Twitter is NOT the place to have a discussion.  But I replied:

Me: That conversation was copied wrong. They labeled ‘a Muslim’ as though he was ‘a scientist’, and said things no scientist would say.

Bieber: OK. Lets say: he is a Muslim. What is scientifically wrong with what he said if there is any thing wrong?! :-)

Me: No scientist should say that *any* prophesy is “100% accurate”, much less “all” of them.
Not only can no alleged prophesy be verified to be correct; a lot of them have been proven wrong, including some Islamic prophesies.
For example, I remember when Muslims argued with P.Z. Myers about embryology, and the Qur’an was wrong.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T5Pm7qLH50
Hamza Tzortsis later argued with me about isostasy, and the Qur’an turned out to be wrong then too.
Your alleged scientist found coincidental numbers in an unrelated verse and merely imagined a correlation interpreted as prophesy.
Your citation pretends that no one would have believe we’d land on the moon, yet Muslims believed that Muhammad rode a flying horse.
You asked me what’s wrong with it. Now that I’ve answered, let me ask you, what’s right with it?

I only addressed a tiny portion of this absurd conversation that would never take place between any Christian and any scientist, but I’d like to see hows others would address the rest of it.

Both Parties are the Same! #1 FLPCB HHSC 15-03 , also known as Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies

Voter turnout during the US midterm elections was pathetic. There was a definite lack of critical thinking and due diligence evidenced by opposing Republicans, Libertarians, and apathetic liberals in the “Freethought” movement, who repeated the soul sucking canards “Both Parties are the Same” and “It’s a Broken System” during the mid term elections. Aron and I tried to encourage people to vote, but were met with an onslaught of sanctimonious people acting as if not voting was more conscientious a choice than voting.

These same people can’t really be surprised by the slew of theocratic state legislation by the Republican majority state legislatures and state governors given a majority during midterms. This is a party that 57 percent of whom think that Christianity should be the national religion. Indiana is one state among many responding to legalization of gay marriage in many states by passing “religious freedom” bills modeled on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision. Which neatly answers the question, “What about the Constitution?” to those privileged enough not to have theocratic overreach affect you on a very personal level, or obtuse enough to not realize in many states they already live in a theocracy. My question to you is ,”Who decides what is constitutional?” Also, don’t abdicate your civic duty to a piece of parchment. [Read more…]

My take on the Abrahamic triad

This is just my opinion, but when I listen to Muslims explaining their religion to each other, I get the impression that Islam is hateful and violent, but that it’s also pretty stupid; “full of shit”, as my dad would say -because none of it can be justified or shown to be true, and what little they do know can’t really imply what they say it does.

The same thing goes for Christians.  When I listen to Christians discussing their religion, I get the impression that they’re hateful too, but their violent reactions are culturally inhibited.  So they compensate for that with a staggering level of bewildering stupidity, coupled with dishonesty.  It sounds to me like pots and kettles accusing each other in the perfect example of the blind leading the blind.

But when I listen to those Jews who still believe in God and the Bible, and I hear them arguing aspects of their beliefs, it strikes me that the foundation of Abrahamic religion is utterly empty, devoid of any possible meaning or value.  I don’t want to say “who cares?”, because way too many people do.  That’s what confuses and alarms me!  How could anyone imagine that any of this is really true or really matters?

I mean, think about it this way:  If you listened to two grown men arguing about what Zeus really meant by what he supposedly said to Hera according to a confused mystic’s interpretation of man-made mythology, would you, could you manage to feign any interest in that discussion?

By God! Legislators take a stand, so that Jesus won’t return and find gay marriage!

Newly elected Christian Right legislators gathered in the Texas Capitol Building’s auditorium today, and vowed to defend marriage from LGBT couples. No mention of a lesbian couple that a judge allowed to marry, because of life threatening circumstances. You bet your bippy, they will put a stop to that though!

A cake to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Texas's gay marriage ban. A banner day for Jesus!

A cake to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Texas’s gay marriage ban. A banner day for Jesus!

[Read more…]

Christians Against Dinosaurs

At one point, I would have thought that Pat Robertson of the Trinity Broadcast Network was a perfect example of a mind befuddled by willful ignorance.  But Robertson publicly criticized Ken Ham of AnswersInGenesis for being “deaf, dumb, and blind”, because Ham doesn’t believe there was a Mesozoic era.  Ham believes that dinosaurs once lived with people just a few thousand years ago. But Ham in-turn also publicly criticized Kent Hovind of Creation Science Ministries for the same sort of unrealistic stupidity.  This was because Hovind believes dinosaurs are still alive today, and he’s not talking about birds!  So it seems that the only way to be even less reasonable or rational than Kent Hovind is if you’re such an extreme science denialist that you don’t believe dinosaurs ever existed at all.

Recently one young woman has gotten a lot of attention as the admin of an organization called CADministries or ‘Christians Against Dinosaurs’.  As unbelievable as it may seem, they profess that the concept of dinosaurs was invented by Sir Richard Owen back in the 1842, but that the first fossils of dinosaurs didn’t exist until 1854, and that every fossil ‘found’ since then was actually manufactured by paleontologists, using adhesive spackle and random bits of rocky rubble.  They say every dinosaur we ever heard of was created this way, and that each fossil is worth a million dollars to whatever paleontologist can sculpt one together.  Yes, we’re talking about yet another impossibly cohesive centuries-old secret global conspiracy at every level – allied against belief in the Bible god.

Now, it’s hard for me to believe that anyone could be that stupid, and I’ve debated Ray Comfort!  So I’m inclined to suspect that this whole organization is a joke, and that the admin is a poe.  But if she is, she’s persistent, and the joke isn’t funny.  She’s already been banned from Mumsnet, a website dedicated to parenting, because she complained that teaching children about dinosaurs is a lie that causes them to act like monsters.  Even ChristianityToday.com warns about how CADministries is trying to impede or disrupt childrens’ education.

Remarkably, Kristen Auclair, the self-described admin of Christians Against Dinosaurs, has agreed to an hour-long live interview on a special episode of the Ra-Men podcast.  She will have a discussion with myself and Rachel Nanon Brown, who used to do the science segments when we were both on Dogma Debate.  I told Ms Auclair that I was a geoscience major, that I’ve been to fossil digs and worked in the paleo lab at the University of Texas, preparing and examining fossils I found myself. I told her my daughter worked in the Dallas Museum of Natural History, and that my former co-host, Rachel is a paleontologist working at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.  So we all have direct hands-on experience to know that nothing Auclair says in any of her videos is even close to true.  I told her I wouldn’t try to convince the audience of that.  They already know.  So we’re going to prove it to her.

Tune in and see how we do.

 

Bosche – irreligious detective?

I haven’t seen this, because I haven’t turned on a TV since the turn of the century, but according to this ad that keeps popping up on every video I try to watch, we have a new leading good guy portrayed as an atheist.  That’s good, I guess.  It doesn’t happen very often.  I guess Hugh Laurie’s House M.D. must have done pretty well if they’re doing Bosch P.D. now.

50 Shades of Meh

Yeah, spoilers.

My wife just wrote a review of this movie, so I guess I will too. We only went to see it because some Bishop at the Catholic church urged people not to.  Prior to that, I asked my wife if I could pay her not to make me see it. I went into the theater, certain that I couldn’t possibly enjoy this film.  It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it still wasn’t any good.
The movie struck me as sort-of a remake of Pretty Woman, except that it wasn’t even THAT good. I didn’t like pretty woman either, because I don’t connect with the fantasy of a billionaire who buys a penniless woman lavish gifts for two hours until the movie ends.  Nor could I consider it ‘erotica’.  It’s too disproportionate.  He’s young and good-looking, but impossibly rich and powerful at the same time.  However she is plain and mousey, with no strength or passionate interests; she didn’t have any charm to her personality, and she frankly doesn’t have a good enough body for an erotic film.  Really gorgeous women can be captivating, even with no other attributes, but she just wasn’t that pretty.  Speaking personally there was nothing there to pique an interest, especially not the interests of a handsome physically-obsessed corporate tycoon.  Not a psychologically healthy one anyway.  So it was like watching a predator toying with his prey, except that somehow she was in control of him throughout the whole movie.  So there wasn’t really anything to like from either angle.

Just let me rule you, and I will be yours.

Yeah, it reminded me of that movie too.

Throwing money at a woman when you have an inexhaustible supply of it is, ironically a cheap fantasy. Otherwise I winced at everything he did wrong, which was almost everything he did.  Controlling her through monitoring and following her, creating dependance and being visibly jealous of anything that didn’t directly involve or revolve around him. I know people like that, and I’d rather I didn’t.
Ultimately the movie was not erotic and not fun or funny either.  And it’s strange that Catholics would object to it, because, (in a sense) it was the first time for both of them, as improbable as that is.  She was still a virgin in college?  He had never been photographed with a woman despite owning 15 prior sex slaves?  He was indomitable and in command, and their sex was portrayed as an uncomfortable experience resulting from some form of self-loathing. That’s what the Catholic clergy teaches, isn’t it?