Hey, Christianist Textbook Fans! Wanna Do Something Fun?

The FtBCon2 Panel on Religion and Homeschooling will be going on at 2pm Pacific – if you hate-to-love and/or love-to-hate our Christianist texts, you should come hang out! Just click that big red banner at the very top of the page to get there.

You can also use it to see the other awesome stuff going on today and tomorrow. I’d be all over everything if I didn’t have deadlines. You’ll have to rub some salt in my wounds by telling me what I’m missing.


Well, that was information-packed and a bit terrifying if you’ve not encountered the extremism in the fundamentalist Christian homeschool movement. Did you miss it? Not to worry! There’s a video:

For those, like me, who almost never watch videos, I’ll have a synopsis up a bit later.

Adventures in Biblical Literalism: Mountain Majesty

In the interests of thorough and unbiased research on the foundations of creation “science,” I recently subjected myself to the Book of Genesis. I had to clear my mind of all evidence – supporting or un- – and take the thing at face value for the purposes of my quest. I can now tell you from experience that a literal reading of the Bible is not half so much fun in the New Revised Standard Version. It’s no wonder fundies plump for the KJV.

Let us begin with mountains.

The NRSV assures us, in Genesis 7:19-20, that the waters of the Great God-Will-Fuck-Your-Shit-Up Flood were very deep indeed:

19The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; 20the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.

Well, gosh, that seems pretty deep. But how high were the mountains in those days? The NRSV provides no clude. And so, we turn to the Authorized (King James) Version for our answer, which I am assured by fundamentalists must be there. [Read more…]

Many of Your Wishes Are Already My Commands

Many of you aren’t shy about letting me know what you want – and I sincerely hope you never will be, because it’s easier than guessing. I’m always happy to get meaningful nudges from you. I’m even happier when I can oblige.

Sometimes, I can deliver what you request nearly instantly. Sometimes, it requires research and takes longer. There are times when what you want and what I can deliver don’t mesh – but that’s not to say circumstances won’t change. There are things I can do now that I couldn’t do then, so one never knows. The point is, you should never fail to make your desires known. Just, y’know, prepare for a possibly long wait. And I’ll try to let you know if something is completely impossible for me. Like, for instance, answering email on time. (Look, I answer nearly instantaneously on a geologic timescale, right? So if we could all just manage to live for a few billion years…)

So a few meaningful nudges have been given lately, and I do want to assure you I’m headed in many of the directions indicated.

Image is a Siamese cat staring raptly at a bit of raw salmon being offered with chopsticks. Caption says "Yes, master... your wish is my command" [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Why Geologists Aren’t Worried About Ending Up on the Naughty List

Some of you may remember when I originally discussed why naughty geologists have no fear of what’s in their stocking, but you may enjoy it again – especially since there are added bonus pictures!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do something naughty so that Santa will fill my stocking with coal. Yay!

“They’ll be led, be bled, and time’s wheel will turn on after they’ve gone.”

There is a remarkable piece written by a man who once called for Salman Rushdie to die. It’s about the awesome power of books, and the fearful power of ignorance, and the power we have to change the future.

Read all of it. But in case you needed persuading, here’s a taste. [Read more…]

Guest Post: “I know better now.”

This is an email I received from my heart-sister Nicole, in regards to this post, on which she couldn’t comment because computers can be right assholes sometimes. I love this woman, people. You can see one of the countless reasons why right here:


I used to be one of those “just accept it” people, as you know. In fact, I used to be a card-carrying IFB, planned to go to college for an MRS degree kind of person.

I know better now.

And now that I feel my eyes are much more open, it makes me heartsick to see what is still allowed in what is called a developed nation. The idea that Americans are enlightened is a joke.

I want to help in any way I can. I’ll share posts, help promote you, whatever you need. You want to post on my blog? Say the word.

I am ashamed that for far too long I let things go, and by not doing anything, helped perpetuate a world that I don’t want my daughter to grow up in. I can’t do that anymore. I won’t. There’s no fucking reason for anyone to ever feel less-than.

Image of a dove and its baby snuggling together on a branch.

Oh, my fuck, yes. Exactly this.

And for those of you who haven’t been reading her blog, you’re missing out on a lot of excellent and thought-provoking posts. Go there. Now.

A few recent must-reads:

A rant-y post about a recent conversation about religion

How my faith made me kind of hate myself

Don’t love me anyway.

Caution: Emo Times Ahead

First of all: all of my love and thanks to you, my darlings, for standing with me when I needed you. Having you in my cheering section, virtual arms around me, and telling me to fight the good fight has definitely kept me from dissolving. Knowing that I’ve inspired some of you to fight the fight yourselves is immeasurably rewarding. There is a reason for doing this. What I lose is balanced by what we gain.

B and I… aren’t good. [Read more…]

Donate for Typhoon Victims

So the Philippines are being demolished. This is what global warming denial hath wrought.

As Super-Typhoon Haiyan moved over the central Philippines on Nov. 8 at 05:10 UTC/12:10 a.m. EDT, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image. Image Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by NASA.

As Super-Typhoon Haiyan moved over the central Philippines on Nov. 8 at 05:10 UTC/12:10 a.m. EDT, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible image. Image Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by NASA.

Haiyan made landfall as an extremely powerful super typhoon, perhaps the strongest ever recorded at landfall, with sustained winds estimated at 195 mph (315 kph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.  Previously, Hurricane Camille, which struck the northern Gulf Coast in 1969, held the record with 190 mph sustained winds at landfall. After striking Samar, Haiyan quickly crossed Leyte Gulf and the island of Leyte as it cut through the central Philippines.

I’m used to storms weakening as they pass over land. This one barely blinked. The havoc it’s wrought will fit right in with what Katrina did to New Orleans. Hundreds are confirmed dead, thousands missing. Homes gone. Lives destroyed. So we’re needed. If you’ve got a spare dollar, donate it for some fellow human beings who desperately need all the assistance they can get.

We’re all we’ve got, folks. One thing we know for sure as atheists: there is no help coming from above (well, not above airplanes, anyway). There’s no supernatural aid to counter the effects of a super typhoon. Just us.

Let’s do all we can.