Also for sale by Ray Comfort

A fake million dollar bill!

fakemilliondollarbill

Here is the blurb for this piece of crap:

HERE IS THE MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test: Have you ever lied, stolen, or used God’s name in vain? Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” If you have done these things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart, and the Bible warns that one day God will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But God is not willing that any should perish. Sinners broke God’s Law and Jesus paid their fine. This means that God can legally dismiss their case: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Then Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, repent and trust Jesus, and God will give you eternal life as a free gift. Then read the Bible daily and obey it. God will never fail you.

Again, this is a stock Comfortism. Every little thing that you feel guilty about is treated as a sign that you deserve to go to Hell. Did you take two mints after dinner at the restaurant, instead of just one? Did you accidentally break the handle off one of the teacups in Aunt Tillie’s favorite set? Did you get a glimpse of a naked breast as you were flipping through the cable channels? Then your loving god thinks you should be flayed while swimming in a lake of fire for eternity! Because he’s promising to torture you forever, you better get on your knees and love him right now. And also send Ray $7 for a piece of worthless paper, thank you very much.

It’s hard to believe that anyone falls for this illogical nonsense, but he includes a testimonial.

“I’d like to thank you for producing the million dollar tracts. Because of it, I got saved and I gave my life to Jesus Christ 8 years ago. I used to be an atheist and God brought me to my knees through your million dollar tract. I went from being an atheist to being on staff at a church, and now I evangelize regularly.” Peter G.

If you were persuaded by that bullshit, Peter G., you’ve got other issues.

Devious creationists

Animal Adventures, in Bolton, MA, claims to be a family zoo and rescue center. They don’t tell you the whole story, though. A family went to visit, and discovered this…

creation

How curious. I looked all over their website, and they don’t give the slightest clue that they’re going to peddle creationism to the families and school groups that visit the place, and plunk down $14 a head.

Interesting: stealth creationists, or possibly they’re ashamed of their silly beliefs.

Nah, that never happens. Most likely they’re trying to fly under the radar so they can draw in public school field trips, possibly with the collusion of sympathetic teachers.

Anyway, you might want to stay away.

Oh, Apple!

Apple had a keynote yesterday. I did not pay attention — I usually wait for products to hit the market, and then wait a year or two for prices to come down before caring much about the latest gadget — but they did something embarrassing. They made a big deal about an app called “Breathe”. It’s a mindfulness app, and they plugged it with a great big quote on the screen.

choprasaying

DEEPAK BULLSHITTING CHOPRA? Apple thinks a Chopraesque silly app for the Apple Watch is worth highlighting in one of their high hype twice-yearly keynotes? Well, that tells me something: that I don’t care what else was announced. It must have been mighty feeble to leave room for Chopra.

And then, it’s a mindfulness app, which has clearly become the pseudoscience fad of the year.

The value of Chopra’s own ideas and recommendations are dubious—to the point that some of his Tweets have been deemed indistinguishable from bullshit. And according to some experts, mindfulness apps are just as questionable. “Science behind mindfulness apps shows most don’t help or work,” tweeted Harvard psychiatrist John Torous, who is also the editor-in-chief of the JMIR Mental Health journal. Torous later told Fast Company that these types of apps are increasingly being investigated by experts. “These companies are very bold in their claims, and very quiet when things don’t work,” he said. “It is premature to say the mindfulness app space is well-validated at this time.”

This is actually a problem with most “mental health” apps, which a study in Nature earlier this year determined can sometimes give improper advice that makes people’s conditions worse. A 2015 study by Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia looked at 606 mindfulness apps and determined that only 23 actually taught mindfulness techniques. The rest were just timers or reminders—most of them told users to stop what they were doing and breathe.

Yeah, if you’re in the market for an app that will remind you to breathe, maybe you need this thing.

Otherwise, I haven’t seen much to distinguish mindfulness from mindlessness.

Is the core of the problem Islam?

Radical Islam is a great evil. It’s poison in people’s brains that conflicts with the modern world, with basic human ethics, and with cooperation with unbelievers. It has to be defeated.

There are ideas promoted by radical Islamists that are inimical to our peaceful coexistence, and that are sustained in a culture of hatred that leads people to kill. The father of the Orlando shooter, while claiming that it was not the place of people to take action, was clear in his othering of homosexuals.

He then adds: “God will punish those involved in homosexuality,” saying it’s, “not an issue that humans should deal with.”

You can also see this in a video Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, a Muslim cleric who spoke in Orlando and thinks it is right for homosexuals to die, although of course we must not hurry God’s will along.

It’s poorly plausible denial. Consider the logic: God is good; God is great; God hates and despises gay people; they should all die for their sins and suffer for eternity in hell; but oh, by the way, you don’t need to do anything about them, but God’s probably going to forgive you if by some chance you should happen to murder a few of them.

And so it goes.

It’s very convenient.

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Dennis Prager has just two questions for atheists

They’re enlightening, because they tell us just how screwed up his preconceptions are. His two questions are:

1. Do you hope you are right or wrong?

2. Do you ever doubt your atheism?

What’s most interesting is how Prager answers the questions, exposing his own assumptions. So in response to his first question, this is how he thinks atheists ought to answer.

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Isn’t this the same old schtick Ray Comfort has done before?

Matt Barber makes a hackneyed argument. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Those who deny the existence of their Creator are delusional.

This is not an insult. It’s not a personal attack. It’s not a pejorative.

It’s a fact.

They’re also “fools.”

It’s a fact, huh? Then I presume he’ll show me the evidence or reasoning. You will not be surprised to learn that his argument consists entirely of quoting the Bible.

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What do physicists think of Michio Kaku?

I confess, I’m not a fan — I consider him among the worst of the big name science popularizers, and every time I listen to him I’m either more confused or irritated. I also find his forays into biology generally ignorant and wrong, and he seems to be most popular among lay people who consider him an apologist for god. For example, here’s this wanker who claims Kaku has found definitive proof that god exists.

The theoretical physicist Michio Kaku claims to have developed a theory that might point to the existence of God. The information has created a great stir in the scientific community because Kaku is considered one of the most important scientists of our times, one of the creators and developers of the revolutionary String Theory which is highly respected throughout the world.

To to come to his conclusions, the physicist made ​​use of what he calls “primitive semi – radius tachyons “.

Tachyons are theoretical particles capable to “unstick ” the Universe matter or vacuum space between matter particles, leaving everything free from the influences of the surrounding universe.

After conducting the tests, Kaku came to the conclusion that we live in a “Matrix”.

They include this video of Kaku in which, I note, he does not provide proof of god, does not claim to have a proof, and most of that garbled stuff above doesn’t appear (although, as quoted here, he does make claims of concluding that the universe was created by an intelligence). Instead, this video is mostly about the interplay between physics and mathematics.

It does conclude with some gibberish.

But you see, all this is pure mathematics and so the final resolution could be that God is a mathematician. And when you read the mind of God, we actually have a candidate for the mind of God. The mind of God we believe is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace. That is the mind of God.

I think he’s transcended pure mathematics to reach a plane of pure bullshit.

But Kaku seems to be ubiquitous, despite shoveling a heck of a lot of noise, and the happy Christian quoting him claims he’s one of the most important scientists of our times. I don’t get it. I see someone who is more Deepak Chopra than Stephen Hawking. But I could be wrong — anyone care to enlighten me on the source of this guy’s popular authority?

If the #ReasonRally failed, why were so many people happy to have attended?

As expected, Thunderf00t has a new video crowing about the failure of the Reason Rally. But I’ve been reading the stuff put out by people who attended.

Trav Mamone thought it was great.

Matt Facciani had a grand time.

Adam Lee got a charge out of it.

Some guy named Ed Brayton made a series of videos about it.

I’m beginning to wish I’d gone — everyone is making the point that the reason for the Reason Rally was more than just making a big mob scene, but getting together as a community for a day. That sounds like a success to me.

As for the haters, Adam Lee has a smart comment on that.

The usual sneering bigots asserted that the rally’s anti-harassment policy must have kept people away, a claim with the same plausibility as a Bible-thumper blaming gay rights for earthquakes.