Sunday, May 20, 2012

Supernatural vs Rational

This link to the top ten reasons why God does not exist is from the book, Why Are You Atheists so Angry. It's a good list and brings to the forefront the crux of the major arguments FOR the existence of God. My favorite is #1 which I guess I knew but never really thought about all that much - the fact that there are thousands of examples of things that were once 'explained' via the supernatural that then moved over to having a rational explanation. Floods, lightning, evolution, eclipses, etc. You could make a really long list here. But there are exactly zero examples of anything that was thought to have a rational explanation but then went supernatural on us. NONE! And for things like consciousness (a favorite of the theist) which is a better thought: That consciousness is imbued in us by a creator or that we haven't exactly figured it out YET. The theist likes to pick at things that aren't explained YET (What caused the Big Bang?) and say that's where God is. A Spackle-paste God that only fills in the gaps I guess. The odds now of needing a supreme being to explain ANYTHING are essentially zero.

So, let's just drop all the posturing, hand wringing, and praying and get busy fixing things and feeding people!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Ten Comandments

We have a small consulting business providing support, resources, and training for teachers of young children in the areas of science and math. Check us out - S&S Collaborations. But that's not important.

We recently ordered some marbles from Good price and we were looking forward to more business with them for some things we're working on. We received our first shipment today with the enclosure you see to the left.

Yeah those would be the Ten Commandments.

What the H. E. Double toothpicks?

I think this is rude. I think this is as rude as knocking on people's doors and asking them if they are saved. It's as rude as the guy on the corner with the bull horn preaching hell and damnation. It's just simply rude to insert your philosophy in a place where it is not asked for, needed, nor appropriate.

Here's my letter back to them.

Dear Gary Saltsman,

We received our marbles today. Thank you for the quick service. Strangely we also received a copy of the Ten Commandments in our order. In case this is one of your workers doing something behind your back I thought I should let you know. In any case we consider this bit of proselytizing rude and unnecessary. As a rational humanist I'm offended by being reminded that a large percentage of my fellow humans seem to be stuck in iron age mysticism. This sort of thing being inserted in my shipment is as annoying as people knocking on my door trying to sell me bibles or asking if I've been saved. Notice that I didn't insert any quotes from Daniel Dennet, Richard Harris, or Christopher Hitchens when I placed my order. And by the way, since you've opened up this door, those are all real people who have actually written things while there is no evidence that Moses actually wrote the Ten Commandments.

So, if this was a mistake and you intend on correcting it that's fine. If this is your normal way of doing business I'm afraid you've gotten your last order from us. 


Scott Welty
S&S Collaborations

I'm wondering what the take is out there? Am I over reacting? How's the letter? C'mon. . .COMMENT!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Everyone has a Right to their Own Opinion

"Everyone has a right to their own opinion". This is an oft used euphemism that I think has gotten twisted all out of shape. I think this popular phrase used to be reserved for taverns as in 'You can ignore the loudmouth at the end of the bar but he has a right to his own opinion".  Now it seems like if you have an opinion, no matter how crazy or lacking in factual support it is, you get to demand respect, time on tv and equal standing with those who actually know what they are talking about.

How did this happen?

Of course the drum I like to keep beating (my horse died) is evolution and science education. There is nothing to support the idea that the world is 5000 years old. Nothing. There is a LOT of scientific evidence that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. It is so crazy that the discrepancy can be that large and people (non-scientists) can have standing with their young earth theories.

Actually, they have standing and they don't. If you only watch tv and read papers and magazines it would seem that they have some standing. But, if you read scientific journals you'll find . . .


In the actual world of science and technology, the people who are pressing for real answers and driving our culture forward, you'll find no mention of any of the crazy stuff from the religious right. They can holler, bury CNN in letters, gnash their teeth, and real learning and rationalism marches on without them. I wish there were a way to have them step back and see what an insignificant flea all that posturing is in the actual and real world of searching for truth.

On the other hand if you look at who is running school boards and making decisions about textbooks and curriculum it gets a little scary. I'd like to think that that is a local effect that will lose out in the end. . . 

There are no evil cabals
There are no conspiracies
There are no gods

It's just us here on this tiny mote but we are smart as hell and don't need to be held back by centuries-old superstitions.

And I'd like to think we won't be and that this turbulent chest thumping time between those who would keep us in the dark and those who would calmly lead us to real enlightenment will be just a semi-interesting blip in the ultimate history of the planet. 

Thursday, May 03, 2012

National Day of Prayer

Well there you have it. The national day of prayer has come and gone. Like a lot of pretend things like Valentines Day, Ground Hog Day, Christmas...some people were in involved and many were not. I read a thing that asked if maybe it was political.

PA leeeeese!

Of course.

If you were truly a devout person of faith you wouldn't need a national day of your personal convictions. Not to mention that there is NO evidence that prayer has any more effect than crossing one's fingers, wishing, or hoping.

So sure let's celebrate a national day of saying stuff that has no effect and no way of being shown to be an actual communication with a deity. Well, that's a little beyond cumbersome. How about we call it . .


A day in which nothing out of the ordinary happened.