God’s Old Earth Curriculum Chapter 3: In Which Minerals and God Aren’t Mixed

We’ve seen quite a lot of Christianist nonsense lately. I’m here to tell you, it’s about to get worse than you ever expected. We’ll be seeing the young earth creationist idea of a “research” paper next, and I’m afraid ya’ll are going to rupture yourselves laughing. It’s too much concentrated derp following the inanity that is ACE. So let’s cleanse our palates with a visit to the Old Earth section of our Christian educational explorations! Turn to Chapter Three with me, and we’ll see what’s in store.

I can hardly believe my eyes. Every chapter thus far has begun with a blurb about God. Here, that perfect record is broken. The pattern, it is unraveled. My psychic abilities, they do not exist. How could this be?

Image is a demotivational poster of a gray kitten with round blue eyes and one paw resting on its mouth, looking perplexed. Caption says, "You perplex me. I like it."

[Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: The Jacob Family Sexploits

XVI

The Jacob Family Sexploits

(Genesis 29 & 30)

These chapters are absolutely X-rated.

Jacob, having been sent away to his Uncle Laban in order to find a wife and avoid being justifiably homicided by his brother, arrives at his destination, where he immediately begins to make a know-it-all nuisance of himself. While he’s busy telling professional shepherds how to herd sheep, his cousin Rachel arrives with another flock. It’s lust-at-first-sight for him. He proves his manly-manliness by rolling away the stone covering the well, waters the sheep, and then grabs Rachel and kisses her without so much as an “excuse me!” He then bursts into tears and tells her they’re cousins, as one does after manhandling a nubile young stranger (Gen. 29:1-12). [Read more…]

“The Future of Our Planet is in Peril in Part Because of Those Who Deny Its Past.”

You know, creationists wouldn’t bother me a bit if they were like UFO chasers, or Bigfoot hunters, or any of a number of other (mostly) harmless groups with odd beliefs. I wouldn’t bother debunking their bloody stupid textbooks if they were a small bunch of powerless doofuses running around babbling about a really old book, and talking nonsense. They wouldn’t trouble me. But they’re brainwashing hundreds of thousands of kids. They’ve got political power, and have an entire party dancing to their reality-denying tune. They’re useful idiots for the Koch brothers and corporations who would prefer to pollute without all those pesky regulations. And it’s not just an anti-evolution, delusions about the age of the earth problem. These folks are happy to let the planet burn to death, because they’re certain it’s all according to their asshole god’s plan: [Read more…]

Vintage Verdad: “Ancient Poetry: Drink Deep the Wine Dark Sea”

(A repost with modifications for World Poetry Day.)

Studying poetry in school felt like slow, merciless death. Those few weeks spent perusing the most insipid pap imaginable every year, tearing down the lines into rhyme, meter and all of the other technical detail, destroyed its power. I came away with the understanding that people in the ancient world were stuffy, insufferable boors. Why the fuck did people make such a fuss about this stuff? What was so great about it?

We were given tap water in safe spoonfuls, when there was a whole briny ocean out there to drink. We were restricted to a European reservation, with no idea that a whole world existed beyond our placid borders. Poetry had no meaning. It whispered in those dull rooms, while outside it shouted. And I never knew.

Caught the occasional glimpse, here and there. ee cummings and his brilliant Buffalo Bill. Ben Jonson’s superb The Noble Nature. Shakespeare’s dramatic and powerful Sonnet XXXV. Emily Dickenson’s deceptively simple I Took My Power in My Hand. But there were just a smattering. A taste of salt on my lips.

Then I discovered the wine dark sea, and set sail through the ancient world. [Read more…]

Mystery Flora: Salmon-Hued Beauties

Picture a temperate February day that is more like spring than winter. The sun is shining gently, its rays occasionally obscured by passing clouds. Birds are singing lustily all about. A delicate breeze stirs the awakening life. The groundhog was dead right about the rest of the country, but here in the West, we are absolutely not suffering six more weeks of winter. Sorry, people who had to dig out of several feet of snow!

I’d walked down to the office to pick up Misha’s high-calorie supplement paste, and spotted an absolutely fabulous flowering bush as I emerged. [Read more…]

Storms Over Mountains

B and I took advantage of a weather break to get in a bit of a walk. We had lovely warm sunshine, but storm clouds were piling up over the Olympics.

Image shows a bit of the Sound, looking across the water at the Olympic Mountains, which have a line of fluffy white clouds spilling over their tops. The rest of the sky above them is cloudless.

Storm clouds crossing the Olympic Mountains.

I love watching storms approach. Everything on this side of the Olympics was springlike and mild. Other side of the Olympics was probably a much different story. [Read more…]

The Story of Flower Hating on the Book of Mormon, Plus Glorious Spring Flowers

The fruit trees of Bothell are putting on their annual show. Every year, I take about twelve kajillion photos of them, and share a few of the best with you. This year, thee shall have lots of beautiful flowers, as well as the story of that one time my mama cat Flower hated on the Book of Mormon, thus saving me from some of the worst prose ever written.

Image shows a shaded branch of plum or cherry blossoms against a blue sky.

[Read more…]

Adventures in ACE XIII: Flooded with Nonsense

One thing I’ll give to Science of the Physical Creation and Earth Science 4th Edition: at least they don’t treat middle and high school-age people like they’re in kindergarten and a bit thick. You, dear readers, have been getting regular installments, but I’ve just come off of a few weeks of total immersion in the other two texts, and going back to ACE makes me feel like I should’ve practiced sucking my thumb and talking in nonsense syllables before diving back into their PACEs. Just a reminder: these PACES are supposedly for 8th graders.

All right, let’s give our IQ the night off and see what ACE PACE 1087’s got for us. Here’s hoping it’s not as unutterably awful as 1086…

Meme is a man looking distressed, standing in front of a partially-open door. Caption says, "It's bad. It's so bad."

Spoiler alert.

 

[Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: Biblical Family Values Parte the Firste: Sibling Rivalry

XIII

Biblical Family Values Parte the Firste: Sibling Rivalry

(Genesis 25)

Abraham’s sister/wife dies when he’s only in his mid-hundreds, so he gets himself another wife, Keturah, who’s apparently considered a concubine. He has six more sons with her. Old Abe isn’t one for keeping the sons he sires with mere sex slaves around where they can compete with his darling Isaac, so he gives them gifts and tells them to GTFO, just like he’d done with Ishmael. Like many men who hate paying child support, he apparently doesn’t really consider them his sons. After all that effort making babies he doesn’t even want, Abraham dies at a ripe old age. Ishmael, despite being cut out of Abe’s will, helps his half-brother Isaac bury their Pop, but after all he’s been through, and the loyalty he shows at the end, who do you think God blesses? Isaac. Of course. Asshole (Gen. 25:1-11). [Read more…]