We’re in Deep, Deep Trouble Indeed

DonDueed left a comment on our latest ACE atrocity post that reflects thoughts I had when I first started our Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education series:

There’s a question that’s been gnawing at me since you started this series. Just how widespread is this Christian home schooling cult?

If it’s a tiny fraction of the population, I’d say it’s not worthy of all the attention and effort on your (and our) part. But if there are significant numbers of kids being fed this atrocious crap, we’re in deep, deep trouble.

Good points! So let’s talk a bit about homeschooling first, then I’ll hit everyone with the map that will make you choke. [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: “Naw, Man, She’s My Sister! No, Really.”

“Naw, Man, She’s My Sister! No, Really.”

(Genesis 12 & 20)

I was raised with the impression that the patriarchs were super-duper good, moral, upstanding human beings. Imagine my surprise when I read about their exploits and discovered what a lot of rat bastards they were.

Abraham, née Abram, for instance, is many things, few of them good. He’s one of God’s favoritest evah, but as we’ve seen before, God has awful taste in human beings.

When Abram first gets uber-blessed by God, he’s 75 years old. He doesn’t have kids, as his wife Sarai is barren (always the wife’s fault, cuz the Biblical men always had perfect little swimmers). But God promises him he’ll have soooo many descendents. All he has to do is go to all these places God tells him about. So he packs up his wife, and his nephew Lot, and his slaves, and goes traveling all over the place. Pretty much everywhere he goes, God’s all, “Yep, I’ll give this to your descendants, too,” which is a little hard on the people already living there (Gen. 12:1-9). [Read more…]

The Pleasures and Perils of Being Owned by an Elderly Felid

Misha’s cold again. She’s been an above-blanket cat all of her life until now. She would become upset with any attempt to lay cloth over her, which meant instant pain and regret for the cloth-layer. I did once wake to find her snoozing at the foot of my bed with the blanket pulled up to her shoulder, but only the one time.

It’s different, now. [Read more…]

Bodacious Botany: Vaguely Tropical

Back where I grew up, “evergreens” were generally conifers. We didn’t seem to have many plants that would remain alive and vibrant during the winter unless they had needles for leaves. Even nearly a decade later, I’m still occasionally surprised by how much stuff west of the Cascades stays happily green when it’s cold.

I don’t think I’ve seen these bushes at Discovery Park before, but that’s probably because the grass in these meadows gets quite tall and swallows nearly everything. This is not a problem in winter. Wild grass is one of the few things that takes the season off. These plants seem quite happy about it. [Read more…]

The Unstoppable Force of Huxley, Darwin, and Frances Power Cobbe

Reading this book on Victorian England’s marriage laws is slow going, because I keep running into fascinating women. Mary Lyndon Shanley quotes a snippet of their work, and then I end up haring off after the source and promptly getting immersed in that instead. I made it to Chapter Two, and I did intend to get all the way to Three, but then I ran into Frances Power Cobbe. And I had to read her article “Criminals, idiots, women and minors” in its entirety. It is so full of good things that I will probably quote from it even more. The woman was a caution. She may have been an anti-vivisectionist, but she completely eviscerates the laws against married women owning their own property. She impales her opponents’ arguments on their own logic before she finishes them off with several master strokes. It’s just amazeballs.

Since we’re just past Darwin Day, I figured I’d share this bit with you. It seems appropriate. [Read more…]

Darwin on Free Thought

Happy Darwin Day to ye! Over at Rosetta Stones, I have a juicy selection of quotes from Charles Darwin on that most beautiful of sciences, geology, which he loved. There’s cake and dinosaurs, too!

Whilst I was searching for some more quotations, I came across several of Darwin’s thoughts on social issues. He talks about free thought, and I thought, what better quote for Freethought Blogs, then, eh? Here is a small selection of Darwin’s quotes on freethought, religion, and abolition. [Read more…]

Remember that Behind Beliefs are People

We don’t yet how Craig Stephen Hicks calmed his conscience as he entered his neighbors’ apartment and shot three young people death. I doubt he allowed himself to see them as actual people.

This isn’t what atheists should be. This is why so many of us went beyond a simple dictionary atheism, why we try to remember that behind beliefs are people, and their lives have value, no matter how awful we think their religion is. This is why we try to punch up, not down; why we fight against the various isms that attempt to reduce people to things. Once you start seeing some people as less-than, it’s too easy to take another step and decide that their lives are worth less than yours. [Read more…]

Adventures in ACE XII: Wibbly about Water

I know, two ACE posts in a row. And our Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education installment is a whole day early! Don’t you all feel like lucky duckies?

It’s about time we finish with the risible ACE PACE 1086, and the subject matter segues nicely into the chapters on oceans we have coming up in our other “science” textbooks. Besides, after last week’s installment, I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seats wondering if the Loyaltons are about to go splat against a mountain. So let us continue our flyover with them, and see where we end up. [Read more…]

Scaredy-Christians

Okay. So you’ve got an omniscient, omnipotent god on your side who’s sent his only son (who is also himself) to die for your sins, thus saving you (from himself). Fantastic! You lucky, lucky bean, you. Your god has told you to go out and share the Good News™ about himself sacrificing himself to himself to save humanity from his own wrath. He tells you that all you need is a tiny speck of faith, and you’ll have the power to do battle with Satan and move mountains and stuff like that. Outstanding! Sharing that really Good News™ with people shouldn’t be hard at all, should it? And you’ve got the example of your god to go by – or maybe it’s his son, things are a little wobbly there, it’s cosmic and beyond our ken, etc. Anyway, you’ve got his example. He liked hanging out with the outcasts and crooks, the sick and poor, and he’d even have a drink with unbelievers. While he was kicking around Earth, he mucked about with the least powerful, and thumbed his nose at all the holier-than-thous. He told you to get out there in the world and get converting. Yeah! That’s what it’s about. Bring the sinners to the Lord! Hallelujah!

So you go to the library, where you see a mother with her children. [Read more…]