Saturday, September 24, 2011

I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks. . .

From CNN we find a story about people being 'visited' by a dead loved one. There are lots of these stories and I find a link between them. The visited person is always the only one visited. That is to say, there is never any corroboration. Why isn't a family visited all at once or a collection of co-workers?

Also, consider this from the article:

Did you ever hear a story of a mother who somehow knows before anyone told her that something awful has happened to her child?

Yes I have heard of such stories. Have you ever heard of a story of a mother who somehow 'knows' before anyone told her that something awful has happened to her child. . . and then it turned out to not be true? THAT probably happens WAY more often but is not reported. Why would it be.

Anyway, I'll get on board with all of this as soon as Galileo visits me. . . and buys lunch!

Monday, September 19, 2011

This says it all. . .

Click on panel to see the whole thing.

Calamities of Nature, irreverent webcomics by Tony Piro
See more comics from Calamities of Nature

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ron Paul = Idiot

Why do we have to keep writing the same thing? Why aren't people who don't understand the first thing about science or the real meaning of the word 'theory' silenced, ignored and poked with a stick the first time they say:

Evolution is only a theory.

I guess I'll just have to keep pounding this drum. I'll try to get right to the point.

Evolution is a well founded, workable, and tested theory by every measure of what makes a good scientific theory.

Theory in this sense does not mean 'theoretical'. It means a short list of testable assumptions (mutation & and natural selection) that then explain a myriad of heretofore unexplainable observations.

NO ONE working in the field of biology, paleontology, micro-biology, genetics, etc doubts the basic tenets of evolution for one second.

To assume a creator causes more un-explainable assumptions than it explains. That's not a workable or useful theory. It's not a scientific theory at all. It only reveals a desperate expression of faith and a fear of knowledge.

That having been said, why does a man with an education who is running for the presidency of the United States continue to say it and not be laughed out of the race? Why are Americans drawn to potential leaders who are just as ignorant as themselves (Sarah Palin) rather than shooting higher? Why are so many Americans suspicious of intelligent and educated potential leaders?

We HAVE to keep pounding this drum. We HAVE to keep asking people like Ron Paul what he means by only a theory?

Now here's the deal. It won't matter. There is no way in this United States for a Republican to win the nomination for the presidency and NOT say he doesn't believe in evolution.

Think about that.

Any Republican saying reasonable things about a well founded 135 year old scientific theory cannot not win the nomination. Such a person would be seen to somehow be siding with the crazy liberal press, professors and other intelligentsia. GASP! What the hell happened to the party of Abe Lincoln?

So, I suspect that the current batch of Republican candidates will all HAVE to declare their suspicion regarding evolution just to get a whack at the nomination. Who knows whether they all truly believe that or not which makes them all either ignorant or disingenuous. Unfortunately it doesn't make them un-electable! Far from it.

I wonder what would happen to a candidate who made it a point to say that Newton's gravity is only a theory and we should consider other theories as well? Perhaps the sticky-earth theory.

Want some help making arguments for evolution? Try these books:

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin


Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne


The second one especially makes very clear and simple arguments with plenty of supporting evidence to show what a beautiful and true theory evolution is.

Got to keep on keeping on brother!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Thoughts

Epilogue

Underway aboard Enee Marie under full sail. I’m stretched out on the leeward side so as to see the tell-tales as I steer with one hand. We’re on course, Enee is heeled over maybe 5 degrees and we’re making 6+ knots on the rolling ocean. Steve Earle is on the stereo. I turn to Sue and say, “This is it Sue. This right here, right now. This is just about as happy as I can get”.

Just about.


video

Yesterday I watched Lucy dance in front of the band at the street fair. Big smile on her face as she hopped about, head thrown back, jumping up, landing on her butt. I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I couldn’t stop smiling. Just about the happiest she OR I can be I guess. She’s so happy and so un-aware. She knows nothing of 9-11 or terrorists. No bad guys. Doesn’t know about Republicans, Sara Palin, or Tea Party. The economy? What’s that? She’s never been sick. Nobody’s ever died. Of course all of that will come.

Given all of that why would you lay something like “original sin” on a perfect child like this? Why would you scare them with stories of a vengeful big guy who lives in the sky and KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE THINKING! Doesn’t that seem just a little mean spirited? Is it because as we grow into our world the world tends to make us a little bitter and suspicious. We grow up with our regrets. We have war wounds. Is it all of this that makes us not be able to wait to get the children feeling guilty and miserable as well in the name of religion?

Maybe worse, is it fair to have them believe in fairytale goodness when in fact we’re really on our own and goodness is self generated? Do you want self-reliance or hopeful belief that ‘somehow’ things will work out.

In John Lennon’s Imagine he imagines no heaven, hell, nor countries. No possessions, greed, nor hunger. That is exactly the perfect state that Lucy is in right now. It will pass for sure but I don’t see any reason to rush things along by introducing the silliness of magical invisible beings, heaven, nor hell.

All I know is that watching Lucy dance in the street is in fact the happiest I can get*.


*Well, I was pretty damn happy when the Bears won the Super Bowl but I guess that’s different.



Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I'm BACK Jack!

Thanks to my friend Rich for discovering that this blog had been hijacked so that you couldn't open it at all. You just got a weird page about some blogroll something or other. A little research found that a number of other atheist type blogs had been hacked in a similar manner.

Interesting.

The worst thing for religion is the free exchange of ideas and especially those that question doctrine. This is why children HAVE to be taken to Sunday school and indoctrinated into religious thought BEFORE they can start questioning for themselves.

This is why people from the religious right will deface, tear down, or disallow atheist billboards while atheists themselves find religious billboards (and there are many) rather sad but not threatening.

This is why the religious right wants to have creationism taught in science class in a desperate attempt to muddy the waters in an attempt to create controversy where there is none.