Well, My Gosh. I Am Certainly Convinced!

Oh, my darlings, I have been so wrong. Sooo so wrong. All this time running around thinking God doesn’t exist, and yet there are these convincing arguments which I have never ever heard before. Checkmate atheists, indeed!

Image shows a baby. Caption says, If evolution is real and adults come from babies, how come babies still exist? Checkmate, atheists!"

There were two signs this week that I was totes wrong about the existence of God. See, there was this one dude with his “7 Things that Prove God is Real,” and lemme tell ya, they’re doozies. They are:

1. Babies. Yep, absolutely, babies. I have never ever looked at a baby, but now that you mention it, they are complicated, and so I went to have a look at one personally, and by gosh, now I can’t deny the reality of God! It’s amazing! And slightly smelly. And cries a lot.

2. Thunderstorms. (Why didn’t our BJU and A Beka textbooks say so??? I’d have been a believer by the end of the weather chapters!)

3. Flowers.

And you know, this one was so amazing, I feel the need to quote it in full:

There are more than 400,000 species of flowers in the world, and most of them are not edible. Their job is to simply make the world beautiful. Did they just haphazardly evolve over time, or did a loving God create each individual shape and color scheme for our enjoyment? People who choose to deny God don’t spend enough time looking at tulips, snapdragons, orchids, lilies, lotuses or magnolias. This is why it’s really important to stop and smell the roses!

Wow. I mean, seriously, if they’re not edible, what good are they? Things that aren’t edible aren’t useful, QED. And it’s not like they need to be brightly colored or smell good to attract pollinators or anything. And how could all those flowers which were carefully cultivated over centuries by human beings exist if God didn’t create them?

4. The Bible. You know, no one has ever told me the Bible proves God exists! It’s so obvious once you realize hundreds of millions of Bibles have been sold, but only two million or so God Delusion books. But there’s more – we’ll get to it later. I’m so excited I can barely contain myself! Praise the (edible) Baby Jesus!

5. The Global Spread of Christianity. Okay, Islam’s catching up, but Christianity came first, so neener!

6. Jesus. Yep, Jesus shore prooves God is real, all right. Never knew that! But wow, I mean, how can anyone doubt it, amirite?

Image shows a girl rolling her eyes and sticking out her tongue. Caption reads, "God sacrificed himself to himself to save us from himself. TOTALLY BELIEVABLE."

7. My personal friendship with God. And you know, having heard from one of God’s own buddies, I’m pretty well convinced, there. Everybody knows grownups don’t have imaginary friends. So if this dude says God’s his friend, well, his friend must exist!

But here’s the handshake on the deal, okay? You’d better sit down, because this is so absolutely convincing that you’ll become an instant believer just like I did. Ready? Here is the ultimate proof, with emphasis added to the proofiest parts:

The evidence for the Bible is more compelling than any other historical fact! There are over 300,000 parts of the OT and entire books that date back to 100 BC. I’m sure you don’t doubt the Homer wrote the Illiad, but there are only 86 copies of it dating to 1000 AD (he wrote it in 100 BC; so how do we really know what is in it?

We have parts of the NT from 125 AD and whole copies of the Bible from around 325 AD. The lack of whole copies of the Bible before that are because of a Nazi-like strategy of the Roman empire to burn them! How typical! But we have 50,000 complete copies of the NT dating from 1000 BC. That evidence blows everything else out of the water. If you believe anything at all, it has thousands of times less evidence than the Bible. And that is a scientific observable fact!

Mind. Blown. God totally wrote the New Testament a thousand years before he appeared on earth as Jesus! He sent Paul back to 1,000 BC to write letters to churches that wouldn’t exist for another thousand years and change! And we know this because some random creationist guy on the internet who may or may not be a troll said so. It must be true!!!!

So yeah. That’s like amazing. I’m so glad I bought all those Christianist textbooks, because I’ll need them to help poorly explain why creationism is really true although all of science proves it’s completely silly. I’ll also be calling around to local neurologists to see how many and what kind of brain cells need to be killed off so that I can keep the Young Earth Creationist faith. I hope you’ll all contribute to my Kickstarter campaign for the surgery!

And if you’re as convinced God is real as I am, you’ll want to join me in destroying the knowledgeable bits of your brain, so you can protect your immortal soul from eternal torment in the hell God will send you to if you doubt his existence, because he loves you and wants you to believe in him, and created a place where we’ll be tortured forever if we fuck up because he really wants us to have a personal relationship with him.

Isn’t this amazing? I never thought there’d be convincing proof, but this is just mind-blowing. I’d better head out to find some ways to justify all the genocide in the Bible now. Bye!

Image shows a strip of red-and-white striped sedimentary rock, and a person pointing to it. Caption says, "Bacon rock. Checkmate, atheists!"

April Fools

Yes, I rather ignored April Fool’s Day this year. I’m not much good at the pranking – I hit my pinnacle the year I attached a TVGuide pic of Richard Dean Anderson to a photo of a San Diego sidewalk using glitter nail polish and still managed to convince all my friends I’d actually met him – despite the fact he would’ve been 9 feet tall if that had been a real-life photo. And he had a little bit of glitter coming out of his head. It’s sad how easy it is to snooker folks.

Cujo359 had a rather different take on the day. Instead of fooling people, he went looking for fools. He didn’t have to search for long:

Of course, Glenn Beck is a fool any time of year, but since today is so special, why not take a look at his latest foolishness? The first comes courtesy of Think Progress:
For almost a year, Glenn Beck has been warning with increasing panic that America is headed toward socialism. Tonight, he issued a correction: “They” are are not marching the United States toward socialism, Beck explained, but actually fascism:
It all adds up to me, having to admit that I was wrong. Our government is not marching down the road towards communism or socialism. … But now I have to tell you that they’re not marching us that direction. They’re marching us to a non-violent fascism. Or to put it another way, they’re marching us to 1984. Big Brother. … Like it or not, fascism is on the rise.

Though Beck claimed he didn’t mean “Adolf Hitler kind of fascism” and that he was talking about “fascism with a happy face,” he illustrated his point with more than a minute’s worth of Nazi footage, played dramatically on the full screen behind him.

Glenn Beck: I was wrong. We’re Not Marching To Socialism, We’re Marching Toward Fascism

Of course, Beck isn’t the first damn fool to redefine fascism so he can invent new ways to insult liberals, but this strikes me as a particularly pathetic example of that pathetic rhetorical strategy. Boiled down to its gooey essence, his argument is:

That kind of socialism that I made up so I could call Democratic fiscal policy socialist? I was wrong, it’s really more like this kind of fascism I just made up.

That’s one of the most apt shorters I’ve ever seen. And don’t forget to visit that last link – you’ll be glad you did.

Glenn Beck is one of those people I used to believe only existed on pirate radio stations and street corners near mental institutions. Yet this buffoon has a show on Fox.

I think that’s all we’ll ever need to know about the quality of the Faux News Channel.

Continuing a tradition I began last year, here’s a couple of the clever April Fools posts I came across:

Evolving Thoughts managed to punk a few folks by cleverly posting his prank on March 31st.

Panda’s Thumb explored the merger of AIG with AIG. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

Alas, I didn’t have much time to really dig for clever gems. If you unearthed some, let me know in the comments, por favor.

April Fools Hall o’ Fame

Since I was too lame to prank you myself, I’ve taken the time and effort to spelunk the blogosphere looking for April Fools shenanigans for ye. If any of you are taken in by any of these, I shall be very disappointed – or enormously impressed by the skills of the pranksters.

Just you wait for next year, my darlings. I have 364 days to plot – I’ll get ye yet!

New Humanist reports:


In an unprecedented victory for rationalism, Catholic priests in the north east of England will from today be required to read out a disclaimer prior to delivering the holy sacrament of Communion.

[snip]

“Congregants should be aware of the gaps and/or problems in the Catholic theory of transubstantiation, including, but not limited to, the Protestant notion that the bread and wine are merely symbolic, the opinions of other religions on the life of Christ, and the lack of conclusive scientific evidence available to support this theory.”


Yes, my darlings, your own dear blogger would have been taken in by that one hook, line and sinker if I hadn’t read the disclaimer and thought, “Wait an effing minute. That sounds awfully like those evolution disclaimer stickers put on textbooks a while back…”

Kudos to Paul Sims for almost pwning me!

Oh, and click the link for the stickers – I nearly peed myself.

Next up, Universe Today announces NASA’s new fundraising initiative:


In an effort to raise additional funds, NASA has announced new partnerships with corporate sponsors. It is becoming increasingly difficult for government-backed space agencies to support the vast range of missions currently exploring the solar system, so urgent measures are being taken. Planetary missions in particular, such as the Mars Exploration Rover project, have fallen on tough times. As already demonstrated by research groups in the UK, funds from private companies are essential for survival and some weird and wonderful methods to capture public interest have already been exploited.

Now it is the perfect time for the biggest marketing stunt yet: tattoo Mars with corporate logos for orbiting spacecraft and ground-based telescopes to observe…


I think it’s the Doritos logo in the accompanying photo that makes the piece plausible. After all, photos can’t be faked, right?

Alas, it can’t all be fun and games. Brian Switek over at Laelaps has a very sad announcement to make:


As many of you are aware, my academic career has been rather rough, my university not being of very much help in preparing me for a career in vertebrate paleontology. This past week, I received notice that I have been in college for so long (and that my transcript is so poor), that I would have to start all over from freshman year again. 120 credits, gone in the blink of an eye. What’s more, I’d have to pay double the regular tuition rate in cash, delivered to a shadowy figure 6 months before the start of each semester, the final indignity being having to wear a “Dunce” cap while retaking my courses.


Brian, darling, no worries. You and Mrs. Laelaps are welcome to crash at my beachfront home in Yuma, AZ until you’ve got things sorted out.

PZ Myers has been cropping up everywhere lately, it seems. Perhaps he’s mastered the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - or he’s become some strange incarnation of Schrödinger’s cat: he’s both present and not present until he’s observed! But The Panda’s Thumb has the exclusive scoop on the true scope of his talents:


As many of you probably know, controversy has surrounded James Watson’s and Francis Crick’s 1953 seminal paper on DNA structure since its publication. Most of the sometimes heated discussions have focused on the attribution of authorship, centering on the source of the data and on the identity of the person who actually originated the DNA double-helix model.

You’ll find the revised list of authors on the second page of the Nature paper. It’s very difficult to see and indistinguishable from the original list of authors, so of course it must be true!

PZ, imitating quantum particles is no way for a biologist to behave. For shame! You must cease your uncertain, both-there-and-not-there, time-travelling ways!

I know I’ve likely missed some spectacular pranks worthy of attention. That’s what I get for having a damned day job! Please feel free to link to your pranks in the comments. My glass is raised high to all of you merry pranksters, undaunted by the challenge of pulling the wool over eyes on the one day everyone becomes a skeptic.

Salud!