More Sunday Atheist Readings

Linking posts are like cruise control for good-blogging-habits. Why write your own blog when you can point to others? Though an atheist-centric linking post on Sunday morning seems strangely fitting, does it not? I guess, that depends on what your particular religion’s holy day happens to be. I mean, the Abrahamic religions can’t even decide on Saturday or Sunday between them, and they all have the same root.

PZ has a letter from a student describing “balance” in his biology classroom — having never been taught at all about evolution despite promises to eventually balance out his learnings, but having had a long, illustration-rich lecture in creationism, he graduated without the merest inkling what evolution was. That’s a good way to win converts for the other side, theists. FYI.

The month of Ramadan is upon us, having started yesterday, and Mike Haubrich had a disturbing episode at work wherein, despite being himself admonished to keep his atheist books at home, someone went out and got a DQ cake for a Muslim celebrating Ramadan. This imbalance in avoiding religion at the workplace resulted in our compatriot foregoing DQ cake, and I know exactly what kind of sacrifice that is.

Here’s a nice cheat sheet in case you want to compare and contrast Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Scientology. Don’t get caught taking this into your Comparative Religion classes though, you might get zero on the test for cheating, which is a sin in academia as dire as plagiarism.

The Teapot Atheist has an unhealthy habit: collecting theist propaganda. Go check it out. He even has as his crown jewel, the Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar).

In case you wonder why people consider evangelical Christianity to be both scary and irritating simultaneously, here’s an excellent example. Julie over at Rational Behavior posted someone’s Left Behind letter, for just in case they get bodily Raptured up to heaven. For those two of you that don’t know, the Rapture doctrine is the invention of John Nelson Darby circa 1830 CE, wherein several Bible passages are reinterpreted to mean that on Judgement Day (which will happen whenever God gets around to it), the holy rollers down here on Earth will get beamed up physically to Heaven, leaving food uneaten, babies un-tended-to, and airplanes unpiloted and doomed to crash. How inspiring! And the letter at Julie’s is just plain off the wall wacky, with Zdenny-level conspiracy theories and technobabble (what the fuck is this BlueBeam craziness?).

Since consigning Zdenny to the moderation bucket, it’s been incredibly peaceful around here. It’s a shame it took borderline censorship to achieve that peace. But it’s okay, for those of you still looking for people to put him in his place, he’s hanging out over at Relatively Unrelated, getting eviscerated by the indefatiguable Dan J, repeatedly and with precious little remorse. It is truly a thing of beauty, watching Dan at work.

Here’s a few more quick links in case the above hasn’t yet whetted your appetite:

Mormonism for Dummies — I’d never wear underpants like those. Ever. Not even after being posthumously baptised into Mormonism.
Proof the 10 Commandments are not the basis of US law — only three out of ten are constitutional and enforceable
A Christian analysis of Atheism — make no mistake, this is not nearly as fair as the last such sermon I put up on my last linking post.
A Feint and a Ruse: a story of betrayal and naïveté on the part of a science booster who honestly thought his theist friends would come to his defense.
10 Myths and 10 Truths about Atheism, by Sam Harris, from 2006. Worth bookmarking and spamming to your misinformed friends / commenters.
Look out evildoers, here comes Bibleman! Lamest superhero on the block.

Zdenny’s Greatest Misses

Zdenny has 22 comments in a holding pattern at the moment, and I continue to anxiously await any sort of reasonable attempt at re-earning his commenting privilege — though I’m starting to think it’s a lost cause, and I should simply let him languish in his holding pen. However, many of the things he’s posted are so utterly laughable or enraging, that I figured I should share it with you, gentle reader. If you have no stomach for this sort of thing, I strongly advise you not click “continue reading.”

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More cheating at Youtube

Creationists surely do love to fight dirty on Youtube, whether it’s by using vote-bots to skew legitimate metrics of brainshare, or abusing them some DMCA. The last time I reported on this, it was VenomFangX being a fucking douchebag and filing false DMCA claims to squelch an opposing viewpoint. This time, it’s the Creationist Discovery Institute, taking aim at DonExodus2 for daring to debunk Casey Luskin’s most recent appearance on Faux News. Please note: the Creation Discovery Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of Casey Luskin Inc., doesn’t even own any of this material, and any use falls under the Criticism clause to begin with so even if Fox News filed the claim it would still fail.

Make no mistake: THIS IS WHY WE ARE UNCIVIL. Rather than letting the marketplace of ideas have a fair shake at both sides of the argument, they put their thumb on the scales by temporarily censoring the other side. Luckily they forgot about the Streissand Effect: the internet views censorship as damage and routes around it, e.g. by reuploading the video over and over and over again, on multiple mirrors and through multiple news channels. The more you try to censor something, the more attention you call to it, quickly turning an otherwise unknown event into a full-blown internet meme. If you want something to go away quietly, you ignore it — because no matter how many hits it gets, no matter how viral it goes, squelching it will give it more brainshare. Let it run its course and deal with the damage afterward, that’s your only choice.

Here’s a re-upload of the original video that freaked out the Creation Discovery Institute assholes (dammit, I keep doing that!). I can see why they’d want to shut down any discussion on this subject — DonExodus dissects the whole segment with surgical precision.

And DonExodus2′s impassioned plea to uncensor this video by spreading the word. I’m doing my part, friend!

I have to contend Youtube has some part in this, in that they need to damn well shore up their takedown process. They know people are abusing this, and by doing nothing about the abuse they are complicit.

Hat tip to Rebecca at Skepchick.

Put the lime in the tequilla and drink it all up

We’re having Mark and Sara over for barbecue and Stephanie Zvan’s Perfect Margaritas. We’re cheating by using bottled lime juice, but it’s 100% pure lime juice not some crazy chemical extract. Hopefully it won’t lose too much from it. I fully intend to update this post as the day goes on and our liquor stock drains. Fingers crossed!

Update: It was drizzly and gross out, so we turned our planned cooking into oven-food. The margaritas were unquestionably great, though we still have half a pitcher, and I’m pretty headachey now. Power went out briefly while showing Shawn of the Dead, which in turn led to drinking another margarita poured over lots of ice instead of blended. This turned the margaritas from deceptively tasty to definitely harsh enough booze to make your eyes cross involuntarily after a sip. Word of warning. We had no orange juice on hand, though there was some orange-strawberry-banana juice, and I didn’t feel brave enough to mix our already mixed fare.

I just got up from a nap, taken to keep my headache from turning into a migraine as it was threatening to make me part with all that tasty food we’d had today. Thankfully I was not forced to do so, though I suspect I’m not going to be able to eat anything til sometime tomorrow afternoon. Depending on how we feel tomorrow, I may get a bit more experimental with the remainder of that pitcher.

How to cheat at Youtube

If there’s one thing I hate in this world, it’s a cheater. No, I’m not talking about using a cheat code so you can blow through the last stage of Doom 3 to beat the end boss and see the ending sequence after a long weekend of slagging your way through demons the old fashioned way — I mean, cheating where it counts, where cheating affects another human being negatively.  And where those internet-keyboard-brigade creationists are concerned, while all of their actions are objectively negative, those actions that can safely be described as “cheating” are especially deplorable.  This is the story of how those same creationists are cheating at Youtube.

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