Monday, 31 August 2015

Scottish and German bans on GM crops

The illogical news that Scotland is to ban genetically modified crops is relatively old. However, as I got reminded of it recently while listening to an episode of the SGU I thought I would dig it up and have another look at it as the news really annoyed me when I first heard about it. To clarify any misunderstanding, I am completely on board with the SGU on this topic as I think the Scotish Parliament is ridiculous to take this stance.

So how did this all happen? Well, perhaps first it is important to realize that Europe has traditionally been very skeptical of GM foods, and as such it was good news earlier this year when the EU made the decision to allow planting and import of more GM plants. This decision it should be noted is being made on science with the EU adopting policies of safe GM foods based on reports by the European Food Safety Authority. Interestingly, these decisions are still being made even in the wake of majority No votes by EU countries, as happened with the 19 to 5 vote on the GM maize strain 1507. However, in this process the EU made the decision to allow independent countries to opt out and not allow these GM crops to be grown in their land. This opt out is what Scotland and now Germany have decided to do.

I think it is important to note that as of writing Scotland and Germany have not officially opted as the final date for this is 3 October 2015, although it is highly likely to go forward. What is disconcerting however is the reasons given for this, as well as it takes away options from farmers that may want to grow GM crops.

So why would the Scottish adopt an anti-scientific stance? They are scared that GMOs will damage their clean and green brand with respect to their food and drink industries. This stance makes no sense when one considers that most of these crops have been modified genetically and are in fact bastards compared to the wild varieties. One way to think about this is to remember Ray Comfort and the banana, where he claimed the banana was designed, while completely ignoring the fact that the modern banana is nothing compared to the wild banana. Never mind that the wild type banana is itself a bastardized GMO plant.


Lastly, apparently this ban will not affect scientific research into GMOs in Scotland according to a government spokesperson. However, this will only become clear when the final opt out is made to the EU.

To the Scottish and Germans reading this blog do not be swayed by pseudo science. Write a letter and let the crops that have been proven scientifically safe and sound in to your countries so that farmers who want to plant them and consumers who want to eat them can.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

So, was that a no to animal testing?

Last week I posted about the problems that scientists face in the ever developing world with reference to the response and challenges faced during the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. This week, I am revisiting the Ebola virus with some positive news regarding some new animal trials on vaccine development for the Ebola virus. A manuscript published in Science entitled "VSV-EBOV rapidly protects macaques against infection with the 2014/15 Ebola virus outbreak strain" by researchers at the American National Institute of Health and the Canadian Public Health Agency not only shows the importance of vaccines but also why animal testing is important.


In this study the scientists used crab-eating macaques and protected them with a Ebola virus vaccine on days 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days before introduction of the Ebola virus into the animals. What the authors observed with the 3 animals that were vaccinated 3 days before injection of the virus was that one had to be euthanized and two showed symptoms. In contrast the 3 control unvaccinated animals all had to be euthanized. On the other hand all the animals that got vaccinated on days 7, 14, 21 and 28 before virus exposure exhibited no symptoms. This result is remarkable, as even with such a small sample size we are getting near perfect immune response towards a very infectious and deadly virus.

This work correlates well with other human clinical trials that have shown to be safe and immunogenic (i.e. they create an immune response). It should be noted here that obviously the difference between human and animal trials is that animals are knowingly infected, whereas humans are not. As such the human and animal trials are both statistic studies, however with the animal studies we have a precise number on the infection rate.

In my opinion, these two studies show that animal trials while not appealing to the human mind are a necessity at times. If not, we need to consider the only other logical choice and that is using human guinea pigs. Now, I am pretty sure that most people would be highly opposed to the idea of using human patients and knowingly injecting them with deadly viruses such as Ebola. Lastly, I said logical choice earlier as there is another branch of irrationality in the world. These are people that believe we should not use vaccines and not do any drug testing. Often these people die or they lie and get all the animal tested treatment they need. Either way the answer reverts to the only other logical choice if you are opposed to animal testing, if not you are dead and then your opinion no longer matters.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Reading the Koran - Sura 2 verse 40-66

After dealing with the fall, the Koran moves onto a section dedicated to Allah's chosen people. Now it may surprise you if you have never read the Koran, but Allah's chosen people, as in the Bible, are the Israelite's.
"O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you, and be true to your covenant with me"
and
"O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you; for verily to you above all human beings have I been bounteous."
Now anyone that has actually read the Bible will know that this can be taken in two ways as Allah is bountiful and an asshat towards the Israelite's. Additionally, it can be argued that Allah is anything but bountiful to the Israelite's through history, although now they do get special leeway in the Middle East.

This part of the Koran deals largely with the Israelite's obeying and disobeying of Allah's laws and being faithful to Allah. Now while this may seem to be a but premature as the Koran has not made any rules so far (except revere and fear), it is not surprising as we get reference to the Israelite book or the Torah and its laws.
"Yet ye read the Book: will ye not understand?"
Additionally, it references the Bible stories from Exodus, with some added details, showing how awesome Allah was to the Israelite's. It tells us how Allah saved them from the evil Pharaoh, how the sea was parted and Pharaoh's armies were drowned, as well as references telling us that Allah gave Moses the stories of pre-Exodus and the ten commandments. If you need to understand these stories I would recommend you go read Genesis and Exodus, as this is not about the Bible I am not going to elaborate too much except for the stories with additional information.

The one story that needs comment is the story of the Golden calf worship when Moses was in the wilderness receiving Allah's word. in this story we see Allah not only commanding the killing of those that worshiped the calf, but also we see that Allah killed all those that were not slayed by the faithful using a thunderbolt. However, Allah was not a fool killing all his followers as he actually then raised them from the dead.
"And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not believe thee until we see God plainly;" the thunderbolt fell upon you while ye were looking on: Then we raised you to life after ye had been dead, that haply ye might give thanks:"
As such Allah used this as a demonstration that he truly was the one and only god, remarkably we do not see these simple demonstrations anymore. This could be attributed to Allah not wanting to show anyone but his chosen people, yet we do not see these miracles happening to the Israelite's either and well there are still many Jews.

Allah also reminds the Israelites that he sent manna, water and that he opened cities to them so that they got many rewards for being faithful. What we are told however that is different to the Bible again is that those people that do no want to worship Allah and changed the word of Allah received a wrath from heaven. These Israelites were sent back to Egypt to toil by the wrath of God, but to be fair they were not only just disobeying the laws but killing people.
"Get ye down into Egypt; - for ye shall have what ye have asked:" Vileness and poverty were stamped upon them, and they returned with wrath from God: This, for that they disbelieved the signs of God, and slew the Prophets unjustly: this, for that they rebelled and transgressed!"
As such so far we have learned that Allah can be considered just to some degree, although like all gods Allah is not willing to actually prove themselves. Amazingly Allah only proves himself to those that he wants to, its almost as if those who claim to have evidence are in the game for some other reason like money, sex or power.

The next part of the Koran that I find fascinating and very different to what most Muslims claim is that it is very adamant, that is that any believer can go to Heaven and be with Allah.
"Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites - whoever of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved."
I think this is a vitally important part of the Koran to remember when we consider that many of the so called Islamic extremists are adamant that the Koran is truly the only way to get to know god and live by his laws.

The one verse that absolutely blows my mind is the verse that says those Israelite's that transgressed on the Sabbath got turned into or treated as apes.
"Ye know too those of you who transgressed on the Sabbath, and to whom we said, "Be changed into scouted apes:"
Now I have seen multiple apologetics showing that this verse does not in fact refer to actual conversion to apes but rather to mean that these people were to be treated as sub human. Either way, what happened is rather extreme and we get to see that it is probably meant to be taken as literal when it is expounded that this punishment was meant as a caution to those that feared Allah.
"And we made them a warning to those of their day, and to those who came after them, and a caution to the God-fearing:"

Lastly, a part that I found confusing is that the Koran is always referring to "We" and not "Allah" or he. From a quick search I found that the use of We is meant to be applied as the royal we, or one person doing it but referring to themselves as we to make others feel inclusive. This is important as the Koran refers to Allah as a single entity and so this we has to be a singular. Bizarrely, this "we" is also used in Arabic so it is not a translation error but from my understanding an artifact of the language.

Just or extremely unjust, Allah is pretty much like every other lunatic monotheistic god. This is really to be expected when one considers that they are all meant to be the same person but in different forms. See you next time.

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The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the al-quran.info website

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Reading the Bible - Genesis 4-5

Now that Adam and Eve have been thrown out of the garden of Eden, they have time to procreate and Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel. This story of Cain and Abel is well known and predates the other famous brother story of Romulus and Remus and the foundation myth of Rome. In a nutshell Cain (plants) and Abel (animals) make offerings to God, and God is more impressed by Abels offering. This clearly shows that God is into the killing of his creations, which is rather bizarre as I am not sure of many people who like destroying their creations. Here God also is honest about what happens when you displease him or sin when he tells Cain that
"If you turn to doing good, will you not be restored to favor?"
This has been interpreted by some scholars as meaning that sin leads to punishment by God. However, I would go further that it was god asserting that offerings to him should be blood offerings.

The story continues with Cain killing Abel and then God confronting him and punishing him by sending him into exile. This is strange, as it comes across as another fall story, as we see here that Cain took up residence East of Eden which was where Adam was, so was Cain kicked out of the Garden of Eden again?
"Then Cain went away from before Jehovah and took up residence in the land of Exile, to the east of E′den."
and from Genesis 3 verse 24
"So he drove the man out, and he posted at the east of the garden of E′den the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning continuously to guard the way to the tree of life."
However, if this is confusing just wait for the next line in Genesis for your mind to be blown apart.

Cain now has sexual relations with his wife, and she gives birth to their son Enoch...... wait what? Wife? How, is this possible I mean there are only two possibilities. Firstly, this women is his unmentioned sister and we have God again busy with his freaky sex ideas or this women was somehow made by God again. Now, if we choose the latter idea, then that surely means that the creation never ended, so why are we not seeing new creations to this day? The other option means that the Bible is okay with incest to the point that it endorses childbirth from incest relationships.

Moving on we see that Cain builds the first city and names it after his son Enoch. Remarkably, there is no information about the existence of this first city in any historical texts beside the Bible. Although, this does not mean it did not happen as a lot of cities have been lost to time.

Following this is a lot of boring genealogy for more or less 7 verses. The only important thing to take form this text is that we see that Lamech took two wives, however this does not mean God accepts polygamy as we know that everyone that descends from Cain is automatically cursed. Exactly what we would expect from a loving God right?

The 4th chapter of Genesis ends by telling us that Adam and Eve again copulated and had a son Seth who was effectively a replacement for Abel. This again has to make us wonder exactly who Cain's wife was, but more importantly it makes us wonder about Gods power and love for his creations. God allowed Cain to kill Abel this is a simple fact, but feeling guilt maybe he allowed Eve to have another son. However, this does make sense in terms of the bigger picture about good and evil as we need the deviant and the noble characters for this story to work. On the one side we have the unfaithful Cain and his descendants,
"Hear my voice, you wives of La′mech; Give ear to my saying: A man I have killed for wounding me, Yes, a young man for striking me. If 7 times Cain is to be avenged, Then La′mech 77 times.”"
While on theother side we have the faithful Seth and his descendants
"At that time people began calling on the name of Jehovah."

Genesis 5 is a genealogy again, with not too much going on except the fantastic ages to which these people lived and started having children them self. For example we find out that Methuselah lived to be a respectable 969, and Noah only had his first children at the young age of 500. Pity that we have never seen this type of vitality again except for the Biblical tales. However, Genesis 5 does contain two stories that can be easily glossed over and which I want to highlight.

The first story is the disappearance of Enoch (not the first Enoch, the second Enoch that was Methuselah's father) who apparently impressed God so much that he got magically whisked away. Now, what exactly happened is anyone's guess, however what I got from the Bible I was reading is that Enoch certainly did not go to Heaven as it says in John 3:13 that
"Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but the one who descended from heaven, the Son of man."
so where the hell did Enoch go?

The other interesting tail is that we hear Lamech (Noah's father) saying of his son that
"This one will bring us comfort from our labor and from the painful toil of our hands because of the ground that Jehovah has cursed."
Which is strange as somehow Lamech knew that God was going to flood the world (or do something big) before God knew and talked about his master genocide.

In conclusion, we can be certain of two things. God really likes blood, or as Steve Wells book title says Drunk with Blood. Additionally, God really is into some freaky sex, as the only people Cain and Seth could have had sex with is Eve or their sisters.

 xxxxxxxxxxx
All verses quoted come from the New World Translation Of The Holy Scriptures.
Online version available at the Jehovah's Witnesses official website

Monday, 24 August 2015

Audacity - A Review

This review contains spoilers.

Do you have the audacity to write gaping plot holes?
Do you have the audacity to act poorly?
Do you have the audacity to promote bad ideas?

If you have these qualities I really think Ray Comfort may have an opening at Living Waters ministries for you to work on his films. With your help, Ray Comfort can continue to produce failures that make God's Nor Dead look like a masterpiece. Audacity is truly a piece of trash  from a cinematic viewpoint and that is ignoring the plot and the "life lessons" it teaches.

When this movie was first released I heard a lot of waves about it, and as such I decided I must watch it. This was a mistake in retrospect, and so what was wrong with the movie? Well, I think a more appropriate question would be what is right with the movie, I would also suggest that if you do not want spoilers you should stop reading now.

The plot of the film deals with Peter and his co-worker/friend Diana as they discuss being gay, and how Peter deals with the challenge of witnessing to homosexuals. Naturally the big reveal at the end is the absurd notion that Diana is lesbian. Now this would be fine if they did not act like best friends forever in the movie. Really, this reveal is the most absurd reveal I have ever seen in a movie as these two are friendly enough on a level to discuss family, yet they are not friendly enough to share the fact that Diana lives with her partner.

Naturally the life lesson to take away from this movie is that Being Gay is not Okay. However, to get to this conclusion you need to accept that the Bible is the word of God and that this God exists. As such there are clearly are some gaping flaws with these life lesson arguments. The life lessons come when we see Ray witnessing to homosexuals in the movie. Actually, I will be fair to Ray if we accept all his presuppositions then everything he says makes sense. However, anyone with half a brain will not be accepting presuppositions such as, sex is bad. In my opinion Ray takes the position that we cannot decide anything for ourselves and as such we need to get Gods decisions, and God has decided not only that sex is bad, but that gay sex is super bad.

I can't say what I really want to say, as this is how bad this movie is. So, in closing, I have one question for you. Do you have the audacity to waste 50 minutes of your life?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Worse than theism? Or just the same? The Ashley Madison Hack

One big news item this week, beside other really important things like the Tianjin Chemical plant explosion, Bangkok terror bombing, and the European Immigration crisis, is the Ashley Madison (AM) hack.

Now to many this may seem like social justice gone wild, with outing of cheating spouses. However lets be clear this is not social justice, this is people taking a moral high ground and saying that others who have a healthy sex drive (that does not harm the hackers in any way or form) is despicable. This is like the church saying gay sex is bad, and should not be done in the privacy of your home, hotel, car or wherever. However, do not take my word for it, lets look at what the hackers have to say for themselves:
"“Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion,”"
or
"ALM also runs Established Men, a prostitution/human trafficking website for rich men to pay for sex, as well as cougar life, a dating website for cougars, man crunch, a site for gay dating, swappernet for swingers, and the big and the beautiful, for overweight dating."
Remarkably, this is exactly the rhetoric we hear preachers and theists using when they criticize others personal choices. Of course these hackers like the church are saying that they are doing this for the better of the people involved, i.e. two men cannot have a baby its unnatural. So why did this hack happen according to the hackers?

In the beginning the hackers said that they were doing this in response to AM not removing site data when the company said they would, while charging users for this.
"“Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,” the hacking group wrote. “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”"
Now, if this is true then why dump user data online, would it not be better to get the authorities involved with the hacked information and get the company closed down. The reason they did not do this is as explained above they are taking the moral high ground. Its almost as if the got angry about something, which is probably another reason why this happened. But then again, don't take my word for it, let us see what the hackers have to say.
"For a company whose main promise is secrecy, it's like you didn't even try, like you thought you had never pissed anyone off."

Now beside the moral high ground that these hackers have taken, lets look at the reality of what they have done. This is the only concern that should actually be making the news as this is the part that actually matters. This hack is a massive criminal act with respect to the release of bank and other personal data which may (will?) cause massive problems for banks, governments, etc. Even if these hackers wanted to play morally better (or "social justice warrior extreme") why would you release a persons bank data? Anyone that users the internet knows that release of personal bank data creates a massive problem for that person. It is like losing your wallet taken to a whole new level.

Another sickening fact is that some users of the AM service are in countries where sexual relations outside of marriage or homosexual relations are punishable by death. Its amazing that these hackers did not think that their actions could legitimately lead to deaths, but then again when you have a moral high ground you do not really care about consequences.

So where did their moral high ground take these hackers? Probably to jail. Not for acting moral but for releasing data that is going to give many people (not just the cheaters) a headache or death sentence for a long time. Perhaps the wisest thing these hackers could do in their spare time is work on their new names.

xxxx
Update 12 September 2015: It is difficult to know the consequences of this hack, what we do know is that there are at least two suicides. Hope the hackers enjoy taking lives as this is their fault.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Reading the Koran - Sura 2 Verse 30-39

Sura 2 Verses 30-39 is the Koran interpretation of the creation of Adam the first man in Allah's image. In this version we get a picture of Allah talking to the angels and telling them he plans to create Adam and put him on Earth.  By the way remember that Adam was created to be put on Earth, as this is important for later.

"When thy Lord said to the angels, "Verily, I am about to place one in my stead on earth,""
The next part of this story is interesting and shows Allah's true nature.The angels are irritated as they are not happy that they are being usurped by Adam. The angels are annoyed as they seem to know Adam is going to raise havoc. But Allah tells them to relax as he says Adam like him will have more knowledge than the angels and as such he should be respected.
"they said, "Wilt thou place there one who will do ill therein and shed blood, when we celebrate thy praise and extol thy holiness?" God said, "Verily, I know what ye know not.""
But Allah is a deceitful one, as he then teaches Adam all the names of all the things on Earth. At this point he takes Adam back to the angels and challenges them to know the names of all the things on Earth. They obviously do not know as Allah did not teach them and so they are super impressed that Adam has this "innate" knowledge. That's right Allah is a right twat.
"They said, "Praise be to Thee! We have no knowledge but what Thou hast given us to know. Thou! Thou art the Knowing, the Wise.""

At this point Allah demeans the angels even more by making them bow down to worship Adam. All the angels at this point bow down to Adam except for one who goes by the name Eblis aka Satan. Interestingly, Satan at this point was not thrown out of heaven, and while this might not make immediate sense it does in a weird mythological way as the Garden with the tree of transgression is also in Heaven. At this point Adam and his female companion get placed in the Garden and lo and behold Stan tempts them to eat the magic fruit.

The repercussions of eating of this fruit are rather severe as Satan, Adam and the female partner (who is unnamed) are thrown out of heaven and made to go to Earth.
"But Satan made them slip from it, and caused their banishment from the place in which they were. And we said, "Get ye down, the one of you an enemy to the other: and there shall be for you in the earth a dwelling-place, and a provision for a time.""
There are two problems with this verse. Problem one, why was Satan not kicked out after his first indiscretion. Number two, Allah clearly knew Adam was going to sin and eat the fruit as when he made Adam he said it was so his image could live on Earth, yet he first placed Adam in Heaven to live. As with the Christian God you have to wonder how twisted Allah is, he puts the tree in the Garden from which one must not eat while at the same time allowing the angel that does not respect Adam to stay in heaven.

From this creation of man story we get to see Allah's true nature of twisted ass-hat, but to make himself look better he then tells us if man follows the laws and prays to Allah he can be forgiven for his sins and as such regain his position in heaven with his virgins. Of course Adam at this point also gets told that if he does not follow the word of Allah he will end up burning in hell fire. I am not even sure what to say regarding this, as it really is appalling how Allah is treating Adam considering that Adam really has no choice in all of this. We could only assume Adam had freewill if the Koran did not include this story.

So there you have it, the second post on the Koran and we know that free will certainly does not exist in or according to the Islamic religion. Additionally, we have learned that Allah is deceitful and very twisted.

Update:
For the Biblical version of the fall click here.

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The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the al-quran.info website

Thursday, 20 August 2015

WWJD?

Found this on a forum and well What would Jesus Do?


Reading the Bible and understanding what is written there is a harsh reality.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Reading the Bible - Genesis 3

The fall of Adam and Eve if of great importance to the Christian doctrine for a variety of reasons such as the death of Jesus for the sins of the world. However, the fall story detailed in Genesis 3 leaves many questions unanswered and leaves us to wonder about the nature of God. This is especially true when we look at how God deals with problems and his twisted sense of justice, but I am getting ahead of myself so lets look at the story.

The first thing to realize is that the serpent in the story refers to Satan (or the great deceiver). This we can assert as in Revelations 12: 9 it refers to the Dragon as the original serpent or the one called Satan.
"So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him."
I have put the Revelations verse here not to jump ahead, but it displays a lot about Gods personality later in the story.

Now we get the classic temptation story of Satan tempting Eve into eating the fruit. What is interesting about this is that God effectively wants to deny humans knowledge as he has already told Adam and Eve that if they eat from the tree of good and bad or even touch it they will surely die.
"You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die."
Satan in the temptation even verifies this by saying that you will be like God in that you will know good and bad. Although, we should point out that Satan did lie about them dying....or did he?
"At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die. For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad."
Then we see Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit at the behest of Satan and with this eating they obtain knowledge of what is good and bad. Obviously the first thing that happens is that they feel ashamed of being naked. This is clearly absurd as they are literally the only two people in the Garden and they have seen each other nude. So I am not sure why this is an issue, unless it is a way for the church to entrench its ideas of modesty.

So Adam and Eve then sew fig leaves together and make loin clothes (underwear) to cover themselves (verse 7), however after this they are still nude apparently as when God comes around in verse 10 Adam had this to say.
"Finally he said: “I heard your voice in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.”"
But never mind God was cool enough to make them some of his own style long garments when he eventually kicked them out of the Garden in verse 21, so yet again we see the modesty concepts creeping in.

So what justice was dealt out during this fall story?

1)Firstly, Adam and Eve are kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Eve is cursed to get attacked by snakes and have pain during childbirth while Adam is told he will suffer during work. Good to see some strong stereotypes coming through in the Bible, i.e. the women in the kitchen and the man out at work. I also enjoyed here a theme that is recurring in Christianity and that is not accepting blame for your actions. We see straight away that Eve does not want to claim responsibility for her actions and pins everything on Satan.
"The woman replied: “The serpent deceived me, so I ate.”"

2) Secondly, the snake gets told he will spend the rest of his life crawling around on his belly. This really is messed up, as it was Satan that did this and not the poor snake, so why God decided to condemn the snake is beyond me.

3) Thirdly, and very interestingly is that nothing happens to Satan who is the big player in this whole story. In fact if we remember the Revelations verse Satan is only going to get kicked to Earth in the last days. This seems to me either God wanted the fall to happen or that he really is a bit dense when it comes to in dealing out justice.

Another point to address is whether death actually comes from eating of the tree of good and bad? It would be natural to assume this as we are told Satan is the great deceiver, but this is not true. God actually takes away the option of eating of the tree of life, which prior was not against his will.
"Jehovah God then said: “Here the man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad. Now in order that he may not put his hand out and take fruit also from the tree of life and eat and live forever,"
So in effect the punishment from eating from the tree of good and bad is not death. It is only death, because God takes away the tree of life. As such Satan did not lie, but God condemned his creations to death through his twisted sense of justice.

So in conclusion, we have seen that God has a twisted sense of justice by condemning the snake but not Satan. Additionally, God does not just condemn Adam and Eve with pain and labor, but also with death. Lastly, we also see what kind of condemnation we are to receive form God if we make our own choices. That is, practice free will and be condemned forever, but be an automaton and God will be cool to you.

Update:
For the Islamic version of the fall click here.

xxxxxxx
All verses come from the New World Translation Of The Holy Scriptures.
Online version available at the Jehovah's Witnesses official website

Monday, 17 August 2015

A look at the scientific method and issues scientists face

A recent series of news articles in Nature on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has done an excellent job at demonstrating the challenges of the scientific method and the way countries borders at times have to be considered null and void when it comes to important science. If you have about 15 to 20 minutes it would be well worth your time to read these articles as they really can offer insight into multiple problems that scientists face ranging from funding to bureaucratic to pseudo-science.The articles are "How Ebola-vaccine success could reshape clinical-trial policy", "Ebola: Embed research in outbreak response", "Disease outbreak: Finish the fight against Ebola", and "How to beat the next Ebola". Here I want to present what I deem to be some of the biggest problems that scientists face, which have serious knock on effects in the real world. It is by bringing attention to these problems that I think perhaps people will start engaging with the facts and move towards a more rational outlook.

Education and knowledge. Did you know that the Ebola outbreak is not over? I was aware that there were still a few cases, but from many Western media outlets I was getting the message that its was over. This is a major truth that needs to be told, as this virus is deadly! It is also through education that infected patients and their families would be more willing to accept the truths of the virus and not try smuggle patients away so they can infect others. In the same way with education we will be able to convince people that a vaccine is a good idea to save yourself during an outbreak.


Funding, this can be a sore point for many countries and people as it requires giving funding towards science to another country and not your own. However, these viruses do not care about borders and as such they truly need international funding. While some people may say it is easy to close borders, we also know from immigration problems in multiple countries that there truly is no way to close borders and that means there truly is no way to stop viral spread by closing borders. This gets amplified when the virus carriers are not humans, but other animals.

Bureaucracy, is probably the biggest hindrance in my opinion. At times, we just need to move things along and not be embroiled in politics and contracts. Now while getting rid of bureaucracy in many ways can be considered anti-capitalistic, the fact is that alive people are better than dead people. As such when the need arises we need to forget about money, contracts and paper work and just get on with it.

Lastly, and probably the point that clashes with many of the above points. We need to exercise caution. There is a large difference between stupidity and rational tests and trails. Solid science should still be followed and that means not just trialing any possible scenario, although this means following reason and doing what is probably best even when this comes with risk. For example, with the Ebola virus we know the death rate is really high, so perhaps less caution is best as the sick person really has no other chance and any chance is better than none. Not very scientific I agree, but probably more compassionate.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Understanding the quantum vacuum or nothing

In the past I have addressed the idea of nothing, but I thought perhaps it is time to take another crack at it. In reality the concept of nothing should be a make or break for most theists and I think the misunderstanding of what nothing is, is partly the reason that they believe that a god created everything. In fact scientists could potentially be to blame as much as philosophers are to blame for the misunderstanding of the concept  of nothing. So first lets look at the basics of what we need to know to understand what nothing is. The following three definitions are the basics that will help us get to the bottom of this problem.

Philosophical nothing: This is the nothing of philosophers, it means the absence of everything. Importantly, this nothing has never been demonstrated.

Reality nothing: This is the quantum vacuum and quantum fluctuations. It is the only nothing that has ever been observed. Although, if there is no observable (i.e. the Casmir effect) it cannot be observed.

Law of the conservation of energy: In a nutshell energy is conserved, or if we want to create mass or energy we need something to create it from something else.

Looking at these simple definitions, you could see the problem or the answer to the question what is nothing (and if something can come from nothing). The corectness of your answer however depends in totality if you believe in facts or fancy. We have observed that real nothing, there is no doubt that this nothing actually exists. As such when we have a quantum vacuum (or nothing) we can observe flashes of light or something coming from nothing. So how can we interpret this?

From the reality viewpoint we know that energy cannot be created from nothing. As such when we see something coming from nothing we have to come to the conclusion that the reality nothing has to have something there. This fact is grasped on by theists as evidence that something cannot come from nothing, while they do not realize that this nothing can only be observed when something happens (like those light flashes) and as such it really is the only nothing we know.

So what happens if we consider it from the philosophical viewpoint? The answer is that we 1) are working with a nothing that has never been observed and 2) a nothing that does not adhere to the conservation of energy. That is the philosophical nothing fails on the basic scientific laws that govern the Universe.

Does the concept of nothing make sense now? If not, then you really are believing in concepts that are not based in reality at all, and that is the facts.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Reading the Koran - Sura 1 to Sura 2 verse 29

Sura 1 (Kaf) is pretty boring as all it says is that Allah/God is the reckoner, merciful, compassionate, gracious and insert awesome adjective here. If you are a Christian or come from a Christian background this Sura is super easy to understand. All that is happening is that they are explaining that Allah is the same as the Christian God (aka Jehovah). If you are not a theist think of Superman or any other superhero and then multiply their awesomeness by infinity and then you are not even close to how awesome Allah is.


Surah 2 (The Cow) Verses 1-5 starts off by telling us that the Koran is a book of guidance for those that believe in the Unseen, or for those that have blind faith. At least they are not trying to mislead us that believing in Allah is in anyway rational and that I respect.

Verses 6-20 goes on to tell us about the unbelievers (infidels) and the false believers, for which a distinction is drawn. For the unbelievers we get told that they will never believe even if presented with the evidence and as such a believer does not need to warn them. Interestingly, the Koran is very explicit in showing that the reason unbelievers exist is because Allah made them that way.
"Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their eyes is a covering."
As such the severe chastisement that Allah will afford the infidels is due to his plan and as such we can be assured that Allah is not just or merciful after all the decisions to punish the infidel has already being made.

We then move onto the false believers who unlike the infidels only get sore chastisement and not severe chastisement. This is rather bizarre when one considers that the false believers have a choice to be false believers but infidels do not. Apparently, the major reason to be considered a false believer is to call Muhammad a liar, so I gather this means that if you are a theist but not a Muslim then you are a false believer. To other theists reading this, it means that Occam's razor just developed another edge as your simplest explanation may not be the simplest but, at least it only results in sore and not severe punishment.

Verses 21-29 details the creation mythology of Allah in a very simple way i.e. he created everything the end. However, it also delves into the fact that the Koran has to be divinely inspired. This is rationalized by saying that the Sura are perfect and as such we know that they must be inspired so much so that if you can produce a better Sura then it will invalidate the Koran. Naturally, concepts of perfection are subjective so even if I had  to write a Sura more beautiful it would never be accepted as well..... I am no Muhammad.
"And if ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men of truth:"

The creation account also tells us about the creation of Hell which has been prepared for the infidels. The reason the infidels have to go to Hell is important, as we need to be the fuel for the fires of hell.
"But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the fire prepared for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones"
Additionally, we get told about Heaven and get some some facts about Heaven which is apparently pretty awesome if you are into virgins. I am not sure what the benefits of Heaven are if you are not into virgins after all we know that everyone is into women....right?
"Therein shall they have wives of perfect purity, and therein shall they abide for ever."
Now, I am not sure why virgins are offered as a reward for a good  life anyway. After all, if they are going to remain virgins forever as the Koran state then it seems that you are not going to be enjoying virgins. Of course we are ignoring other minor details like if you happen to have a wife. Perhaps the wife is not allowed into Heaven? Or, we can accept that Islam is just another male dominated religion like all the Abrahamic religions.

Lastly, and rather interestingly we get told that Allah went off to Heaven after the entire creation and then he transformed the already created Heaven into the seven Heavens. This is interesting as the seven heavens concept predates Islam, just as Christianity and its concepts predate Islam. This leads us to come to the conclusion that Islam lends heavily from previous mythology which is very common for religions. However, if this is so then we have to wonder if Muhammad was an illiterate that he is made out to be as he was clearly borrowing ideas while creating the Koran.

So there you have it the first analysis of the Koran post, let me know what you think and I will try to keep the posts more or less this length for the future
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Note: The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the al-quran.info website

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Reading the Bible - Genesis 1-2


Genesis 1 is a breakdown of the creation account of the Universe or more importantly the Earth. In a nutshell the days can be broken down as follows.

Day 1 (verse 1-5) God creates the Heavens and the Earth, of course we have no evidence for the Heavens but at least we can focus on the Earth. Importantly, here God also got around to creating light and separating the lightness from the darkness. This is a bizarre  as darkness is the absence of light and so the absence of light and light co-existing in the same place at the same time is very interesting. Now, I have no idea how this works, but luckily I am pretty sure that Biblical scholars also do not know so we can happily just pretend it did not happen and mark this down as an oops. But the bizarreness this thought will become even more apparent in day 4.

On day 2 (verse 6-8) God got down to the important part of giving the water ball that Earth was an atmosphere.

On day 3 (verse 9-13) the water ball of Earth was finally divided into land and sea. At the same time, the plants were created and we learn that they were created to be able to make seeds of their own kinds. This word kinds is the one creationists love to throw around and say that all animals and plants can come from groups of kinds through mutation. However, this is against the Bible as it clearly states that kind can only create the same kind.
"And the earth began to produce grass, seed-bearing plants and trees yielding fruit along with seed, according to their kinds."

Day 4 (verse 14-19) was the day of the abstract and insane. Here we see that the stars or luminaries are created, and importantly we see that the moon and sun are created. This is strange as we know we already have the separation of light and darkness in day 1 so how the hell the sun is only getting formed now is just beyond me.

Day 5 (verse 20-23) is when the Earth is populated with aquatic animals and birds.

Day 6 (verse 24-31) is when all the animals are created. Again we read here about the kinds and so we know that all the kinds were created and as such evolution is ruled out of the equation. This is an important as point, because as we have noted before that kinds only create the same kinds.

Finally on day 6 man and women were created in the image of God. God also blesses man and woman and they are commanded (blessing?) to populate the Earth and at the same time they are told that they have control over every living thing on the Earth.

Moving to Genesis 2 (verse 1-3) we get the completion of the creation story, that is on the seventh day God had a beer and put his feet up. We also then get a highlights package (verses 4- 25) of some of the important parts of the creation. This is also where we start getting some interesting discrepancies and get to wonder about the logic of this loving God.


Here we learn that in contrast to Genesis 1 that man (day 6) (who was created from mud) was created before trees (day 5) and other animal life (day 6). Now this could be down to bad proof reading, or it could be that as this is a highlights package everything is not in order. However, I have to disagree with this, as it explicitly states that God made it rain on the ground and then used this mud to create man. Additionally, it continues to say that the garden of Eden was created at this point and then man was placed in the garden. Surely this then implies that  Adam came before plants and animals.

Now we also need to realize here that two special trees (and not one) were created by God in Eden, that is the tree of life as well as the tree of good and bad.
"Thus Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree that was pleasing to look at and good for food and also the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad."
Now, the tree of good and evil was placed in the middle of the garden and God told Adam not to eat this fruit, although he could eat from the tree of life. Now this simple verse here is reason enough to think that God is a twisted individual. If you do not want to tempt someone why put them next to a temptation, i.e. the tree of good and bad.

Lastly, we hear that God created women as a helper for man. This is in itself a weird story as Eve was created from a rib of Adam which effectively means that Adam and Eve share the same DNA. That translates into Adam having sex with his miracle monozygotic sister, I say miracle as monozygotic twins are usually the same sex unless there is some genetic problem which makes the one twin adapt another sex, but we know this cannot be true as Adam and Eve went on to populate the Earth.

In conclusion we have learned that God is a twisted individual for making Adam live next to temptation as well as populating the Earth with the female equivalent of himself.

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The translation being used is the New World Translation Of The Holy Scriptures.
Online version available at the Jehovah's Witnesses official website

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Reading the Bible - Answering questions and comments

When I first announced to some discussion group members over on Google+ that I was going to be reading the Bible there were many questions leveled at me. Some valid, and some that can be ignored. Nonetheless, I thought that I would give a run down of the more important questions asked of me.

1) Why are you using the New Word Translation (NWT)? This is usually followed by something to the effect of it is a heretical translation.

The NWT is considered by many Christians to be heretical, for the predominant reason that the Jehovah's Witness (JW's) organization rejects the idea of the trinity. However, this rejection of an interpretation of the Bible does not make the translation any less valid than other translations. All it means is that the JW's organization that published this translation came to a different conclusion regarding the validity of the trinity.

2) What commentaries will you use while reading the Bible?

This is an interesting point as I am not very sure I want to engage commentaries unless I necessarily have to. Commentaries in my opinion are not helpful in most cases as they are coming from a biased perspective and secondly I may get involved in bashing the commentary and not the bible. For example the Guzik commentary of Genesis 1 goes into discussing evolution and I am pretty sure that will either keep me discussing Genesis 1 forever or irritate me so much that I will focus on debunking the commentary. Lastly, if the Bible is the word of God surely it can stand alone without commentary?

3) Will you use other versions of the Bible?

At times I will certainly use various versions of the Bible for the same reason I may refer to a commentary.

Hope this clarifies any questions and gives insight into the Bible reading which starts tomorrow :)

Monday, 10 August 2015

Let that woman drown

Update 14 August 2015: This drowning story apparently happened 20 years ago. I apologize to my readers as the original story I read did not mention this time difference.

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Original post follows
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Thanks to my friend for turning me on to this.

In Dubai a retarded fuckhead father decided to let his daughter die by drowning. Now while he did not force her head under the water, what he did do is refuse to let rescue workers come to his 20 year old drowning daughters help. So in essence this moron actually did do as much as force her head under the water, as he did not want strange men (read rescue workers) to touch her and dishonor her. Apparently for this retard a dead daughter is better to him than a dishonored daughter. According to the newspaper this is what he said to the rescue workers "He told them that he prefers his daughter being dead than being touched by a strange man." Now, while I cannot be certain this is religiously motivated as it does not mention religion in the article. It is certain that some strange irrational belief is at play which lead to the death of this lady, and the country in which it took plays probably lends itself to Islamic irrationality.

Then again, we often get told that Islam is all about sex equality. Although, this of course is even when the Koran explicitly states that a women is worth half a man.

The good news is that the killer got arrested, I call him a killer as lets be under no misapprehension this man killed his daughter by denying her rescue. What exactly happened after this arrest is a bit vague as it says the killer was prosecuted and sued. I am hesitant to say justice was served for two reasons. One, he got sued which implies that is the extent of justice and two I have no further information. In this situation I would like this man to be put in jail to rot for a long time, on top of this I wan to see him denied custody of his children when or if he gets out as clearly he is not capable of looking after his children.

On a side-note, I want to applaud the Dubai police for arresting and prosecuting this man. In many Arabic countries it could have been a complete miscarriage of justice due to the genitalia this killer has.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

This is not an anti-GMO win

 
 (Source)

There was a recent retraction of a research paper from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition about the use of the GMO called Golden rice. It was probably a good decision by the journal that the manuscript got retracted, however the reasons behind the retraction do not mean the science is bad and that GMO's are bad. Remarkably, the results of the manuscript still hold and that is that Golden rice is a good food which can alleviate Vitamin A deficiency. This result is good news (and was to be expected) as Golden rice was designed to alleviate Vitamin A deficiency which kills thousands of children every year. As such it is surprising, although not unexpected, that pseudo scientists have been trying to kill the Golden rice project for a long time through the use of anarchist type plots. I mean even if you are a pseudo scientists surely you have to believe that saving lives is a good thing. Of course most of the anti-GMO stance is based on discredited and retracted science so I guess we should not be surprised that they resort to terrorist like tactics.

So you may ask why was the manuscript retracted? It was claimed by Greenpeace that the children used in the study were used as human guinea pigs. These remarks are unfounded as the safety of Golden rice has long been demonstrated with studies in 2006 and 2009 showing no toxicity. Additionally, all the children in this research study got their correct intake of Vitamin A through either a supplement, spinach or the Golden rice. The problem with the study however arose from the fact that some of the consent forms for the children in the study were collected after the trail had already begun. This is an ethics violation and as such the study should be retracted even thought the results are valid.

It is a sad day for science in so much that anti-GMO proponents are sure to use this retraction in a devious way. However, it is good that science is policing itself and making good policies a necessity when it comes to human trials. This is why I hope that by writing about this success yet sad story I can shed some light on pseudo science that is demonstrably harming others.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Reading the Koran - The John Medows Rodwell translation

The version of the Koran I will be using while I read through it (again) will be the John Meadows Rodwell translation which can be found at the al-quran.info website. As for the Bible version, I am including a picture of my Koran here to show I am not making this up.

Interestingly, my friend was saying to me you probably bought this Koran (it was not gratis) as you can then burn it. But be rest assured to any Muslims reading this, I am not going to burn this Koran as I am reading it and blogging what I find so do not come Jihad me okay? I mean I even gave the Koran a pretty background to make it look more pleasant to your eyes. This is all done to prevent any violence :)


Okay, enough teasing lets get onto this translation and why this specific translation. The Rodwell translation from my understanding is in fact a pretty decent translation. However, I do not have much information to go on regarding this translation which brings me to my next point. Honestly, from my discussions with various Muslims it does not matter what translation of the Koran I read as if it is not in Arabic its all lost in translation and not the true message from Allah. This is great apologetics, while at the same time showing that Allah is not all powerful as he cannot ensure a simple translation is flawless. Additionally, I am not going to study Arabic just for the sole purpose of reading the Koran. So, if you are reading any of these posts and take exception to the translations please feel free to tell me why its wrong and how Allah screwed up so bad.

Fun fact John Meadows Rodwell was friends with Darwin. This is probably reason enough for any Islamic scholar to dismiss this translation as he was in bed with the devil incarnate. See you all next week when we start getting into the madness a.k.a the true word of the one and only God except the other one that gets discussed on Wednesdays.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Praying to Jehovah - The final Atheist Hail Mary

Recently, I have been having multiple fun and entertaining discussions about the Bible with a friend of mine. Recently though I got challenged by my friend to pray to Jehovah (i.e. God) and basically see what happens. He said, "even if it does not work at least you entertained a friends request." So this is my testimonial as to what happened when I prayed. First I will give some back story, but if you want the testimonial skip to the last paragraph.

One fascinating idea that I have learned through my discussions is that the word Jehovah is Gods personal name. When I was a Christian I certainly heard this name many times, but I was under the impression that it was just a synonym for god/almighty/lord/king and so forth. Apparently though this word is not used by many Christian groups and it is through this simple fact (not knowing Gods name) that some people believe it is difficult to have a personal relationship with God. Reasons for not using the word Jehovah are varied from sect to sect, and for a run down of some of the shockingly poor reasons see the link given above. Now the use of the word Jehovah actually makes sense when you think about it, as having a personal relationship with anyone does require firstly that you know at least the persons name. So, when I prayed I sent my prayers to Jehovah and not just God, my friend rationalized that this would make a difference as its more personal. To this claim I had major objections as really whether you call God by his name or not, he should know who you are speaking to. But nonetheless I decided that to humor a friend and to accept the challenge I would direct the prayer towards Jehovah and as such be calling him by name.

(Source)

So what did I pray about, I prayed basically the prayer that I would think most atheists that have progressed from a religion pray as their last Hail Mary before accepting that there in all likelihood is not a God. To the atheists reading this that changed from a religion I would be interested to know how many of you, like me, made the final prayer asking for the evidence. The reason I made this prayer was that at that point I realized this was a major turning point and I was prepared to give it all a final chance. After all as many atheists writers have noted, it is much easier to be a believer in the societies we live in.

So, this was the second time I made the Atheists Hail Mary prayer and in brief it goes like this. Hey God, time to prove yourself its really not that hard, Amen. I added the Amen at the end, as I was unsure exactly what you are meant to say. Then again does it really matter how you end a prayer after all God is meant to know right.

The Big Reveal
The revelation of this praying was.......nothing. That's right as expected nothing happened I did not have my Road to Damascus moment. I am still and atheist and in the process I entertained a friend.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Reading the Bible - The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

So first off, let me just say during this journey I will be reading the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures supplied by the Jehovah's Witness organization and published by the Watch Tower Society. Here is a picture of the Bible to prove I am not making this up. By the way,I have a reason for this picture its verifiable evidence that I actually have a copy of the Bible and so when I speak to theists and they doubt that I read the Bible I can send them here and show them real evidence. Also, I am super happy about having a hard copy of a Bible as I find hard copies easier to deal with than electronic copies. I think it must be my age showing through.


So why the New World Translation?

Firstly, this is a translation that I have not read and studied before. As such I like the idea that I can tackle a different translation. Additionally, the King James Version is just whacked out and though many fundamentalist believers do use it, it has been shown to be flawed by Biblical scholars. Needless to say you do not need a PhD in theology to see that mentions of Unicorns and Giants probably show there may be some translation errors. Now this is not to say that the New World Translation is flawless, it does certainly have positive reviews. Sure I could have read the New International Version, but I have been there and bought that T-shirt. Additionally,through a friend I received a copy of the New World translation gratis and so if something is gratis I believe it is one of the best reasons to use that copy. Granted I could have obtained a Bible from the Gideon's gratis, but it would have the King James Version and I am tired of Unicorns and language that people just do not use anymore.

Lastly. to end on a fun note, many Christians believe the New World Translation is heresy. Of course this view is held at the exact same time they proclaim that their own Bible translation is the perfect and true word of God. Those same translations that are demonstrably inaccurate and can be shown to be such by any person with the Internet, Google and 5 seconds. Basically, why not teach the controversy?
 

See you next week as we dive into the first course of this adventure.  

Monday, 3 August 2015

Rationalism and BioLogos

BioLogos is a website created by Francis Collins back in 2007. As I often criticize various theist groups on my blog, I thought I would take the chance to applaud a Christian website that focuses on science to the point that they fully embrace the scientific method and hence conclusions. A quick look at their mission statement makes this abundantly clear, when in point seven we get the following statement "We believe that the methods of science are an important and reliable means to investigate and describe the world God has made." Now, while this still means that God is accepted as factual with no evidence. The fact that the scientific method is embraced leads to conclusions that secularists and atheists can only be happy with and this is what we should really care about organizations like this and the work they do within the theistic community.

The acceptance of the facts about evolution from single cell to mutilcellular organisms and man evolving from an ancestor that shared a common origin with the other great apes is refreshing. Granted they do believe that the mutations that occur are not chance, but rather directed by the God man. However, it is through this special relationship with God that they are are willing to accept the major facts about evolution. Excitingly, this foundation is not promoting the teaching of creationism over evolution in schools as they know that old and young Earth creationism is utter tripe.



The one thing that I did not find on the BioLogos website was an official position on homosexuality and the science behind it. This is pretty sad for a website which promotes science, as the facts are in that homosexuality has very strong genetic links. None the less, this means that any homophobic stances by members of this group are just that homophobic. They are unable to hide behind their religion as an excuse to be a bigot, they have to embrace the fact that they are a bigot and live with it as that is what their mission statement implies.

So what about the future? The one concern is that BioLogos could potentially be hijacked in the future (if a creator is disproved) with fundamentalists like Ken Ham taking over. Or who knows what will happen when they officially have to take a position on the science behind homosexuality. But for now lets be happy that we have theists that actually do not deny evolution, they just believe that God was in the background making it happen. This promotion of scientific facts by the group in my opinion is great as it will make more theists wake up and see that God cannot exist when the science and Bible are read in tandem with critical thinking. Lastly, and probably the most disconcerting, the fact that a website like this exists goes a long way to proving that some theists will never be reached as they are irrationally rational.

Yes, this website relies on special pleading which is sad considering the stance they take on scientific matters. But in the words of the faithful "lets be happy with small miracles." 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Sarah Bland's suicide as an analogy to pre-supposition theistic belief

At the risk of courting controversy I am posting about Sarah Bland's tragic death and how it relates to theistic belief. While, this may seem to be bad taste, I think there is a very important lesson to be learned from this and its not about race. This post is about analyzing the evidence and following it to the rational conclusion, even when this is not what you want the conclusion to be.

Sarah Bland's family have stated multiple times that they do not believe that she was suicidal, with others even assuming that foul play was present in her death. So what do the facts tell us?

One obvious question is why was she in jail for three days after a minor traffic violation?
Well this is question has been answered. Simply put, she or her family could not find the $500 to afford bail. Probably the bail would have been less (or there would have been none) if she did not allegedly kick the police officer.

So what happened during this traffic violation. Well some "rational commentators" like Kyle Kulinski would like you to believe that she was doing nothing wrong as she moved out of the way of the cop who was tailgating her. See the video below.

Although, this is in clear contradiction where we see Sandra changing lanes without the cop tailgating her. He was literally behind her for four seconds and two of those were while slowing down at an intersection, where cars usually close in on each other. So this claim is utter tripe, but look at the video below and see for yourself. Anyway, we can conclude she was arrested for a very clear violation and subsequent behavior. As such her incarceration was justified.

The question of drugs in her body is something a lot of people are finding hard to believe, but why? We hear about people in jail using drugs all the time. But never mind that, if she was carrying marijuana in the car it is entirely plausible that she swallowed it all before the cop got to her car. How do I know this is a possibility? I have had friends that have done this exact trick to avoid getting a drug possession charge. We should also note that marijuana can take a long time to clear the body and it is a depressant. I bring this point about depressant up, as if your are (or have been) suicidal you should probably be staying clear of marijuana.

Lastly, when all was said and done and fingers pointed we finally got the autopsy report. This report concluded that there was no foul play in Sarah Bland's death, and agrees with the video footage from outside her cell which shows no one entering and leaving before her body was found.

So what do we know?

We know she committed suicide, she had drugs in her system, and she did not react well during her arrest. The evidence is their, but if you have a pre-supposition belief its difficult to accept these conclusions. My hope is that her family will accept the second autopsy results which they requested. When this information will be made public, or if it is made public, is not certain.

On the other hand, I could be completely wrong. In which case I eagerly await the second autopsy results to be released to the public to prove this to me.