Friday, 28 February 2014

Idiot of the week - Why Idiot of the week?

This week I thought I would explain why I actually have this section titled idiot of the week.

I have decided to address it now as I get multiple people asking me questions like "why do you hate this person" or " this person is not dishonest" etc etc.
 
So yes, the name is probably wrong but its convenient and it portrays something in an easy manner. Let me elaborate:
Idiot of the week
makes more sense than
Person who does something I do not approve of due to their religion or other superstitious belief and for this reason I think they are mentally challenged or had an absolute brain fart of the week.


Hope you don't feel the need to ask me again why I use the word idiot.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Something you should watch if you like (or dislike) William Lane Craig.

I am sure most readers of this post are well aware of the series of debates in Australia last year between William Lane Craig and Lawrence Krauss. I am also sure that most are aware that depending on who you asked (i.e. Christian or Atheist) the answer of who won the debates varies by beliefs. Regardless though of what your opinion on debates is, there is one thing you need to see and it is what happened in the opening statement from Lawrence Krauss in the first debate. The other debates have great opening statements from Krauss but the first one is certainly worth the 15 minutes.

In this statement, Lawrence Krauss very respectfully gave William Lane Craig a science lesson and told him to stop being dishonest. It was something that was needed and while I do not think it will change William Lane Craig's mind, it does show that people are tired of dishonesty. It is a scientist explaining the scientific method, and not the scientific method explained by philosophers who  need to redefine it in a way to make their arguments work. I think its difficult sometimes for atheists to say these things, because despite popular belief been an asshole is not nice. More so when they person you calling a liar is not a bad person, or seems to not be a bad person.

Here is the opening statement in the first debate.: Life, the Universe and Nothing: Has science buried God?(Watch from 21:00 to 45:00) From 38:00 is the real good stuff.
Here is the second debate: Life, the Universe and Nothing: Why is there something rather than nothing? (7:00 to 24)

Here is the third debate: Life, the Universe and Nothing: Is it reasonable to believe there is a God? (21:00 to 44:00 )

Monday, 24 February 2014

The proof against evolutionary theory

I have decided to address the so called evidence for Creationism which I keep confronted by in debates. But before I actually get into it, there are a few things we need to clarify about this so called evidence.

Number one, it is not evidence for Intelligent design or creationism. It is so called evidence that disproves evolution. It does not meet the burden of proof for creationism. All it does is attack evolution.

Secondly, this research is not published in accredited scientific journals. In fact none of these journals even have an impact factor as determined by Thomson Reuters on the Web of Knowledge. Journal of Creation, Answers Research Journal and Occasional Papers of the BSG have no impact factor, not even a 0 impact factor.

With that lets move on and discuss the first evolution threatening manuscript.

The manuscript is entitled "Genome-Wide DNA Alignment Similarity (Identity) for 40,000 Chimpanzee DNA Sequences Queried against the Human Genome is 86-89%" by Tomkins and published in Answers Research Journal.

So why do the creationists get a different value for DNA similarity between Chimps and Humans. The answer is simple, they insist that sequences of junk DNA be included in the analysis. Junk DNA is thing like indels, introns etc. and are normally left out for the following reason. It skews the data so much so that 2 humans could be more than 10% not related as junk DNA is exactly that its junk sequences. It is important, but its junk i.e. not the same for everyone. So when the difference between 2 humans is 90% and between humans and chimps its 89%, the result is the same as published by evolutionary scientists.

Secondly, they use the BLAST program for their analysis. This is interesting that BLAST is the only tool used, as use of BLAST program logarithms has been criticised as missing hits in DNA sequencing correlation analysis. Let me clarify that BLAST is a good program, but it has limitations. Interestingly, the author even criticises the BLAST program and then still uses it “This is a very conservative estimate because nucleotide BLAST default alignments mask large amounts of low-complexity sequence”.

And then my last major criticism of this manuscript comes in the methods section where the following is written."Despite the files being listed as raw trace reads, they appeared to be completely processed high-quality sequences. Therefore, the sequences were directly usable for querying with the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) algorithm ”. The problem I have here is with the word "appear". If this was not corroborated, then the author has guessed and used the sequences as is without finding out if he was correct? This is important, as if the author was wrong here, everything in this study fails.


So what will you believe?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Idiot of the week - Dr. Mark Stengler and the Cancer Cure

The idiot of the week is not so idiotic this week. What I found was that this fool is smart enough to hide until you start doing the intensive searches. Honestly so would I if I made such bold claims.
(Source)

So Dr Stengler claims to be able to cure Cancer. OK, he claims that the information has been around since 1925, so he is not the inventor that's all Gods work. Dr Stengler is additionally the producer of a newsletter that is criticized by real doctors, as it is highly controversial and not always scientific. He is a highly religious Christian (yes this is relevant), a homeopath, a general practitioner and appears on those great TV channels like Fox News and the 700 Club.

The original video I watched was all about a spell/verse in the New Testament, Matthew 4 to be precise, which can cure Cancer. These guys make bold claims like that this work has also been verified by independent research from the University of Southern California, Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Chicago, and University of South Florida. Funny enough, I have found no information regarding these Universities involvement in treating cancer. I have found no information of the press releases in the major scientific journals claiming the cure of cancer. Why, you may ask. Because these people are quacks who should be put in jail for misinformation. (For more on this pseudo science click here for an update.)

All you need to do to get this amazing Cancer treatment that is being suppressed by the government and scientists is buy the book, buy the medicine, believe in what is written in the Bible and buy the other necessities from Dr Stenglers organization.

Still doubt me? OK then lest say the flu vaccine actually makes it more likely that you will get the flu. Depression is just a diet problem. He heals arthritis, back pain and pretty much any pain. Oh, and mistletoe is not just for kissing under.

Dr Mark Stengler you are a fucking idiot.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Why superstition is detrimental to society- a case study

Recently, there was publication of a DNA study showing that the Clovis people of North America are more closer related to South Americans (i.e. Mayans) than Native Americans. The article titled "The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana" is available here, but is subscription only.This news is important as it reveals more details about how the Americas were populated by different migrations across the Bering Strait land bridge.
(Source)
So how does this tie into superstition? Well, this research may have never been published as the Native American Tribe leaders probably would have stopped the DNA study as the spirit of the boy (Clovis Boy, Anzick-1) deserves to be at peace. This, could have been similar to the case of Kennewick Man which resulted in drawn out court cases and delay of publication of important results.

However, the fact is no spirit of this boy can be at rest as the spirit does not exist. I say this, as all research to prove the existence of a spirit has shown there is none. So due to some superstitious belief a very important finding could have never been published. This is just another reason to leave superstition behind and shows how it is detrimental to society at large.

Monday, 17 February 2014

The science shows.......you cant read

This is an honest question. Do theists (and atheists) ever read their sources?

Recently, I was reading a Christian arguing for the validity of the Bible. There were the normal fallacious arguments such as there is historical and scientific evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, and Moses parting the Red Sea. The thing that really caught my eye was the person claiming that the scientific community is not in consensus whether Noah's flood actually happened. So I decided as a sceptic that this was something I needed to read into more.

Anyway the title of the news article is "Marine Team Finds Surprising Evidence Supporting A Great Biblical Flood", so one would believe there is something real to the Noah story. Turns out its just a very poor headline, and the news article does absolutely nothing to prove that a Biblical flood took place. All the scientists are saying is that there was more than likely a catastrophic flood that took place when the Mediterranean Sea broke through into the where the Black Sea now is.

(Source)

This idea has been around since at least 1997, and is called Black Sea Deluge Hypothesis. Hypothesis, not theory and not fact. However, there is speculation as to how catastrophic it really was. The flood was catastrophic, as it changed the landscape dramatically. However, this flood could have taken a lot longer than a few hours which is how people normally associate the word catastrophic.

So while the headline seems to back an amazing claim, the article does nothing of the sort. So again I ask do theists (and atheists) read the source.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Clergy Project is something to make you smile.

The Clergy Project is an amazing organization that helps clergy who stop believing in god get out of the system and into the real world again. This may sound simple, yet its not always that easy when your ministry is your only source of income and you have a family and children or no other skills with which to get by. Lets be honest this is religions big card, they make you dependent so that you never can leave. They threaten hell to keep you in the pew every Sunday as you fork over cash to keep them keeping you in fear.

It was for that reason that I really smiled when I saw the coming out video of Justin Vollamar's coming out that he was an atheist. Its special as he is a pastor for a very big deaf church online, as such it is big news and more evidence that religion is falling apart at the seams.



Shout out to My Secret Atheist Blog for the lead.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Idiot of the week - Bryn Fischer

It had to happen sooner or later, but this time Bryan Fischer makes it onto idiot of the week for his gaffe and his rant.

First up, in his rant he says that if you are for the legalisation of homosexual rights then you are for the against black males. You apparently do not care about black males, if you are accepting of homosexuality. I am not sure how he gets to this link in his mind, as it makes no sense unless every black male is homosexual and has HIV. Or is this just my brain telling me this what it sounds like?

The Gaffe, just listen from 1:00 minute. I am sure you will smile, as he is such a homophobe that when he says it like that it makes you wonder. :)

Recently, Bryan also made the news for his scientific stance on transgender people and the amazing power of prayer. Bryan,  you are the idiot of the week.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Say what.......the evidence that Moses parted the Red Sea

Religion never ceases to amaze me, or should I say the religious never cease to amaze me. So when I saw this article on WND cited by someone I just had to check it out. After all scientific evidence for someone parting a sea is pretty incredible.

So lets get right to the point, this work was first conducted 11 years ago by amateur archeologists. And then again 2 years ago in 2012 some new "evidence" was discovered by amateur archeologists. The fact that no professional archeologists have deemed it necessary to search for these remains tells us this is probably bullshit. More importantly, there is no evidence ever presented, all we ever see is underwater pictures like the one below.
 
(Source)
BTW, yes that is superimposing of a picture on top of the coral. Below, is another picture of the coral without the superimposed image as well as another picture of Table Coral.
(Source)
(Source)
Not so impressive anymore after the first picture with superimposition.


The thing that baffles me, if this was so important information surely they would have brought some of the wheels and remains to the surface.The only piece of evidence ever found has gone missing, and the fact that more has not been brought to the surface is that the Egyptian government will not allow artifacts to be removed. How convenient this all is.

Also, even if this is a chariot axle, it does not mean Moses parted the sea, it more probably means that a chariot getting transported fell over board. Or a ship carrying chariots sank. All highly more probable than something incredible for which there is no evidence of ever happening again. I have also included a picture of the Red Sea below for you to see how small it is (all irony intended).
(Source)
Needless to say, it turns out that this is just more evidence for the selling of something on the WND site to the religious sheeple. Here is a preview of the documentary they are selling, BTW the preview looks not exciting at all so not sure if I would subject myself to the full length documentary.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The bible is not known for its wisdom.

Atheists often point out the ridiculousness of things found in holy books. I myself have done this multiple times on my blog. However, there are always people that do it better.


This is why I recommend you enjoy the following website to bring a smile to your face. Beware it does contain strong language.
http://www.dumbshitthebiblesays.com

Oh, and my tip of the week for closet atheists who don't want to go to church. Remember that if you have a problem with your genitels that you should not go to church, its not pleasant but punch yourself in the groin. I still think that its less painful than sitting through a service.
Deutoronomy 23:1 He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.


(Source)

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Position on creationism debates

Recently there was this debate at the Creationism museum, so I thought I would give my thought on debating creationists. My position is simple really and one that differs from Richard Dawkins and a lot of other scientists and atheists. My position is, Do It.

At the end of the day and after the debate dust has settled. It is still the person who watched or listened to the debates duty to ask questions and find answers. A debate is not a platform where everything can be answered, its not a platform for truth, its a platform to show who has better debating skills.Consider that Muslims and Christians debate each other all the time publicly and yet none of them are right. This simple fact right there should tell you something about debating.

So the question, then will be why even bother? The answer to this question, is also the reason why I am for debating creationists. It helps people rationalise their belief systems. When you have to debate a creationist and you fail miserably, then you have not studied the evidence and you should study more. Education is the only way to defeat this ignorance that is creationism. Additionally, learning is fun and you should be able to back up all your beliefs logically. Blind faith in evolution or God is still blind faith and not rational.

However, I do feel that people debating creationists are often too polite. For example, when your opponent stands up on stage and spouts lies, they should be called exactly that a liar. At no point should they be allowed to continue in the debate until the viewers of the debate are absolutely aware that this person has lied to them. There, is nothing wrong with calling someone a liar as you can see in the image it is actually pretty easy. In this case this person HPWKA, was spouting Islam when he already called it a lie. Needless to say, I never got a response.

 

 If the creationist is just ignorant, that is fine but this is also when you can point out that they are ignorant and that is where the teaching and learning begins. 
 

Essentially, at the end of the debate everyone goes home. On the way home they speak to others or the search the Internet. This is where the real learning starts and the more educated people out in the real world the easier it is to get rid of pseudo science.