Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A priest walks into a bar with a balloon in his hand...

Our amazing priest with his flying balloons met his end...

I wonder if PZ Myers has learned of the priest's fate yet...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hear Webster Cook, the Cracker Thief, in his own words

Freethought Radio interviewed Webster Cook on their 7/19 broadcast. He explains what happened leading up to and since the Crazy Cracker incident. You have to skip past one of Dan Barker's songs before you get to the interview. Sorry, Dan, I like you but I don't have a taste for your music.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ben Stein Needs to STFU!!!

I've avoided talking about politics on here because politics had nothing to do with my doubts about God. But if there is a God would he please tell Ben Stein to STFU!!!!???!!!

Really, Ben? Obama at an arena reminds you of the Fuehrer? First, you belittle the holocaust by blaming it on Darwin, now this?

And Glen Beck could use a sock in his mouth as well. "OOoh!! Sounds like Mussolini!!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Concern Trolling and Moral Relativism

I have been called a concern troll at least once in the last few months. Like, when people overuse the term "TARD" it really bugs me and I have to say something. I find that even some of smartest bloggers out there can bring down their arguments with casual use of terms like "theotard" and "creotard." But they have that right. They are expressing their views. I just can't stand it when people make fun of the mentally or physically retarded. And this makes me a concern troll.

But change the media to radio and the rules change. I haven't even listened to Michael Savage's stupid rant about autism but it sure did get people in an uproar. Are they concern trolls for protesting his show?

But what does this have to do with moral relativism? A while back I would have considered myself a moral relativist. But, as I learn more about the world and about humanism, I find it harder and harder to take a relativistic stance on certain issues. Certainly, in regards to basic human rights, I think it is necessary for us to protest the religious factions that would see to it that women were subservient and gays were killed. The rights of the individual come first. Where before I would look at societies that held there women in check and thought "well, that's just how things are in that country." Now, I hate to think of how many people cannot speak up or defend themselves because "that's just how things are in that country."

So, when it comes to casual use of the term tard I could take the morally relativistic view and say "well, that's just how things are on teh Internets." But I won't! I CAN'T STAND HOW MANY TIMES I SEE thisTard and thatTard. It's funny if you're 13 years old! I understand humor, I'm guilty of telling tasteless jokes. But it stopped being funny a long time ago, at least in Internet time.

Call me silly. Call me a concern troll. I don't care. But stop being such BLOGTARDS!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Here Be Dragons!

Here Be Dragons
Brian Dunning, who puts out a great podcast called Skeptoid, is now offering a short introduction to skeptical thinking called Here Be Dragons.

It is available on Google Video and various download formats (including DVD ISO). The distribution license is fairly open and allows for use in the classroom. While watching it my wife and I thought it would make for a good basis either as a dedicated critical thought class or at least as part of a science class.

He steers clear of religion in the video, though a few of his podcast episodes have touched on subjects like young earth creationism. This video deals mainly with how to spot pseudo-science or false advertising when you see it in advertisements. (The podcast episode talking about Kinoke Foot Pads is a good example.)

I suggest you check it out for yourself...let me know what you think!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rollin rollin rollin, get that blog a rollin, RAWHIDE!

This blog has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Naked Evolution

One of my favorite podcasts, The Naked Scientists, featured a show on evolution a few weeks ago, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Darwin's "dangerous idea". I just got around to listening to it and thought others might want to check it out.

They talked with Dr. Lenski about his evolving e. coli and Dr. Remi Ware about an update to the controversial Peppered Moth experiment. , and Dr. Alastair Wilson about some horny sheep. Alastair is SUCH a British name...hehe...

There was also a reading of some of Darwin's letters he wrote at about the same time his abstract was to be presented to the Linnean society.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Book Review: Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

It has taken me a while to get around to reviewing this book. I finished it a few weeks ago and it is still effecting me. This is only the second book I've read that chronicles a modern African experience. The first being A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. Both left me with a painful ache in my heart for the suffering that must be going on right now on that continent.

Infidel is something of an autobiography that tells the author's journey from Somalia to Holland, from Muslim to atheist. By the end you will understand why she is now an atheist. If you had any interest in becoming a Muslim before reading this I don't see how you could hold onto that desire after.

It also tells a story of sexual oppression and abuse that is also happening this very day. Hers is a first-hand account of how horribly unequal women are in the eyes of men. Even passive, god fearing Christians like to point out how the bible holds women as second-class citizens. So it isn't just Muslims, but those women sure seem to have it worse than any others.

While reading it I wondered how much strength it took for Ali to run away from her forced marriage. What made her different? If given the chance how many other women do the same? A man I work with is from Pakistan and arranged for his daughters to marry men from Pakistan, even though the girls grew up here in America. I know that one of them refused. Fortunately, he's something of a passive man so he didn't kill her like we read about. But I wonder what went on in their house. If she hadn't been in living away at college would she have had the choice she made? I remember when he was asking me about the visa process (my wife is from outside the US and my wife and I did the visa application ourselves) and he told me about the arrangement I cringed inside. I couldn't believe it was 2006, in the United States, and this guy was arranging a marriage for his daughter. When he told me earlier this year that it didn't work out, that his daughter wouldn't follow through with it, I was so happy that she took a stand. But so many women don't get that choice.

Last night my wife and I watched "Submission: Part 1", the short film that got Theo Van Gogh killed and put Ayaan Hirsi Ali into hiding. I wish women all over the Muslim world could see this film or read her story. I wish they could have the chances and the courage to take those chances like Ayaan Ali did.

I was deeply moved by this story. If you haven't read it I strongly suggest you do.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sweet Land of Liberty!

My only favorite atheist/neocon went and had himself waterboarded...

I imagine he still wants to wipe out the mid-east, but at least he understands that perhaps we've crossed the line...

Sure makes me proud of this country!