Grumpy old man moment: There is satire, and there is really dumb satire

It’s funny because it’s like Superman, but his logo looks weird! DON’T YOU GET THE JOKE?

This isn’t about atheism, but it is about skepticism in general, and some of the annoyances of the internet.

I loves me some fake news. Been reading The Onion for well over a decade now. The Daily Show is my favorite thing on TV, and most weeks I never miss an episode. But even with all that in mind, I really want to say that there are just way too many websites devoted to publishing “satirical news”, and most of them are not that funny.

The thing that bugs me the most about these sites is that, much like those terrible Seltzer and Friedberg movies, they don’t really do satire. Those movies just imitate better, more successful movies, and expect you to laugh. These sites post stories that could be true, but aren’t.

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Camp Quest Texas needs YOU

If you’re living anywhere in or near Texas, this means you!

Camp Quest Texas really appreciates all the generous donations they’ve received over the years, and those are still welcome. However, what they need from supporters more than anything is their time. To put it simply, word of mouth has spread like crazy over the last few years, and since CQTX runs for one week of the year in a camp with limited space and even more limited staff, it’s hard to accommodate all the campers who would like to attend each year.

If more people were willing to get involved, they might be able to expand the number of cabins they can support, or even admit a new group of campers during a second session. So if you’re local, and have some time to offer during the month of August, please consider getting in touch with them when you can.

Go here to volunteer.

We Hate Movies: Christian Wish Fulfillment edition

Earlier this week, Beth’s Facebook page linked me to an ridiculous interview with Kevin Sorbo, of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys fame. Kevin is attached to an appalling movie called God’s Not Dead. What’s this gonna be about? Based on the trailer, it is a feature length version of that old urban legend about the atheist professor’s brain. It’s a story that’s been told over and over again: By Jack Chick in comic form, as a laughable anecdote about Albert Einstein and various other smarty pants people, as a “nerds vs. jocks” standoff with a marine.

Here’s the formula: Wholesome Christian boy meets professor. Professor mocks boy. Boy stands up for Christianity. Boy humiliates professor. Atheist looks stupid. The end. It’s great for a thirty second anecdote, but if you use your

Imaaaaaaginaaaaation

you can drag that sucker to 113 minutes running time!

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Open thread for AETV #854: Unitarian Universalists

Russell Glasser and John Iacoletti talk about Unitarianism, in John’s first episode as regular cohost. Video should be up soon.

During the show, I mentioned to a caller that I had recently done a panel discussing Presuppositional Apologetics with Justin Schieber and Dan Linford. It seems that this video is not easy to search for, so here’s a direct link:

Apologetics baiting fail

Email from a fellow who calls himself “Destroyerof Atheists” [sic]:

this is for matt D
does he see these?
maybe you can pass it along
he seemed sincere so i wanted to ask him some questions

does he represent atheists?

has he ever debated/talked with/met a representative of the Creator?

is he sincerely looking to find the Truth?

does he know how to find his way to work from home and then back again?

does he know/accept that he needs food to eat and air to breathe?

does he know/accept that there are types of things?

this should spark enough curiosity, enough tug on the intellect
if not…
good luck

Actually, my curiosity is sparked. Lots of questions come to mind.

  • Was this type of thing inspired by seeing Buzzfeed and Upworthy headlines all the time? You know… “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ when you ask me to send the rest of this message!”
  • Have you ever seen a comedian tell half a joke, then stop and ask the audience if he should deliver the punchline? I haven’t, but I would imagine this guy must think that’s an effective delivery style.
  • How is it possible that you could go out of your way to capitalize “Creator” and “Truth,” and yet not bother to capitalize sentences or proper names? Are you e.e. cummings?
  • In what society is “did you know that humans breathe air?” imagined to be something that tugs on the intellect?
  • Do people in category X often stop and chat with somebody whose nickname is a threat of violence to X?

Creationists say the cutest things

Guy P. Harrison sent me this:

22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution

Here are my answers.

  1. Of course.
  2. No.
  3. Almost completely.
  4. No.
  5. Rotation of the earth.
  6. They don’t.
  7. What about them?
  8. Deriving meaning is up to the individual.
  9. No: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
  10. That’s pithy and dumb.
  11. Who embraces it?
  12. Wrong.
  13. Sure, but tangentially.
  14. Because it’s been observed.
  15. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
  16. Genetic variability.
  17. See #8.
  18. Fossilization is rare.
  19. Yes.
  20. Easily.
  21. It wasn’t a star, but don’t have enough data.
  22. If Americans come from Europeans, why are there still Europeans?

You’re welcome, creationists!

FTBCon 2 round up

For those of you who weren’t able to watch the live panels this weekend, here are all those in which ACA members participated.

Beth Presswood and Martin Wagner joined in the “Artistic Secularism” panel, with Amy Davis Roth, Ryan Consell, Ashley Hamer, and Lauren Lane.

Jen Peeples and Russell Glasser did a parenting panel with Dale McGowan and Elyse Anders.

Russell and his son Ben, a three year veteran of Camp Quest, briefly dropped in on the Camp Quest panel with David Diskin, before it was cut short by technical difficulties.

Russell was in a “Counter-Apologetics” panel, with Justin Schieber of Reasonable Doubts, and Dan Linford.

A few other panels you might enjoy checking out:

There are plenty more, so please check out the full schedule for many other great videos.