Wednesday 30 October 2013

A miracle story - thoughts from the past

Do miracles actually ever happen? Some people will say they do and have witnessed these miracles. The second group of people will say they are true,because a friend/parent/wife/etc witnessed a miracle. So I thought I would share a story about a "miracle" that happened at a church were I attended when I was still one of the sheep.

Firstly,I did not witness this miracle myself but it got retold to me by a friend of mine at the time,we have subsequently lost contact. The story goes that this friend of mine saw a leg growing. So in this story a child who had one leg shorter than the other was prayed for and the child’s leg grew. I remember this child wore shoes with one bigger sole,so that he could walk without causing himself serious back and joint damage. Now this is a remarkable claim,and as a believer I took it seriously and was amazed by the power of God. However,that was all going to change 6 months down the line.

6 months later,been the idiots that we were (we were 15 years old),we started playing the fainting game. I don’t want to get into the specifics of how we did it, but we induced self hypocapnia (Don't do this,its very dangerous!). Usually this experience lasts a few seconds, but one friend of ours would stay in these fainted states for up to a minute (or 2) before we woke him. It was freaky as we would see his eyelids move behind his eyes and he would shake now and again. Anyway, this guy after a few weeks of our idiocy told us all he was faking it. Naturally we did not believe,so he said okay lets do it. We repeated everything with him and then he didn't faint like before, we were shocked. However we still did not believe him and so he showed us without the fainting treatment how to do all the eye movement and shaking associated with his fainting spells.

Interesting thing,this is the same guy that saw the leg growing in the church.

So was this a miracle? Maybe,but look at the source. He was my friend but he also enjoyed an elaborate hoax. Its for this reason that I don't believe the leg grew in that church service, after all every other miracle claim has failed why should this be any different.

Monday 28 October 2013

I am not scared of your Hell threats

In my upbringing I was exposed to Christianity, but luckily the one thing I do not recall is that I never got the Hell scared into me at church. As such Hell was never an issue for me as a theist. For some reason it was not brought up much and when it was brought up it was not used in an abusive way to threaten. If anything it was just part of the story and was not the focus of the story, or maybe I thought I was the most awesome Christian ever and way too good to go to Hell.

Let me say here, that I do believe not condemning followers to Hell every week is a good way to keep people attending church. So, maybe the church was smarter than I gave them credit for. Eventually, the whole realisation of Hell and what it meant actually is one of the reasons that I left the irrational thought of Christianity behind. Truth is I was just not prepared to accept that some really good people would be burning in Hell while some really horrible people were sitting in Heaven. (Side note, this realization didn’t help my depression either.)

But to make my point clear to any theist that ever reads this. "I AM NOT AFRAID OF HELL." Why should I be? Its a fictional place and pretty much like any good horror story at Halloween. But even if hell was real, I would love to go there as its literally cooler than heaven. Also and more importantly, Hell is where all the cool kids are going to be. Heaven has Popes, Hell has my grandfather, Christopher Hitchens, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman and Ernest Hemingway to mention a few. But then again that’s just assuming Christianity is the one true way to go.

Theists stop using Hell to intimidate atheists it does not work. More importantly stop using Hell to intimidate other theists its just despicable behaviour.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Why I hate Censorship

I detest censorship, and yes I realise it is your blog and you can do what you want. But here it is again the biggest reason why I hate censorship.

Recently I got invited to a blog to read some theist rant about god and how awesome god is. So thanks for the invite, but when you invite me somewhere and rant then please be ready to accept my rebuttals. So I decided to comment and ask a few demanding questions. Surprise, my comment has to get approved? Now I am sorry, this is unacceptable. Don’t invite me to read your tripe when you do not intend to have an open a free forum. This means you should not be able to moderate what I write, unless granted I use profanity or death threats. BTW, I don’t use profanity or death threats. But this situation can get worse than just not allowing comments, it is actually possible for this person to reply to comments and when I try rebut their arguments they just censor me and claim victory.

I suppose people reading this will say I should trust they will do the right thing. Let me just say this, in my dealings with theists I never expect the right thing. So hey if you have a blog, here are my tips. Censor spam, in fact most comments platforms (even the one supplied as default by Blogger) have spam detection. If you need another smarter platform to block persistent trolls there are other platforms to adapt. Censorship is never  a good thing, it allows unethical people to be more unethical.

Maybe its time to develop a badge for Internet pages which have non-censorship.

BTW the other reason I don’t like censorship. If you are brave enough to put drivel out to an international audience be prepared to accept international condemnation of your ideas.

Friday 25 October 2013

Idiots of the Week: Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner

This weeks Idiots are the duo of Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner. Thanks to Right wing watch for the links.

According to Kevin and Dave, feminism directly translates into lesbianism and abortions (Planned Parenthood). This is why the are so against girl scout cookies and the girl scouts organisation, which apparently is another pseudonym for feminism. They disagree with the girl scouts because for one reason and one reason only, they believe in the biblical view of women that is that women should be subservient with no rights who are tortured by God and have no free will but to obey their husbands (Ephesians 5:22 and Genesis 3:16).

So in a nutshell this is what they want in brief. They don’t want women to have equal rights in the work place either. They don't want homosexuals to have rights. They want to make sure that your daughters don't get a good education. They don't want women to have the right to abortions. They want women at home, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. This is what these two idiots stand for, and to them I say congratulations you are the Idiots of the week.

Here is just one of their three rants highlighted at RWW.

Thursday 24 October 2013

Skeptic Yoda - funny

I know the idea of Yoda as a skeptic is absurd, but enjoy.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Genesis tells me the world is 6000 years old, how could I possibly be wrong.

Answersingenesis wants to explain to us why the world is only 6000 years old. So lets look at the evidence for why they say the world is only 6000 and not the 13.8 billion years old that scientists think. Skip to point 8 for the real evidence.

1. Circular Reasoning.
Apparently scientists are in a loop of dismissing biblical evidence as all groups don’t want to say the 13.8 billion years number is wrong. So scientists are in a self-sustaining loop of confirmation, when everyone wants to scream out that its only 6000 years old. Clearly answers has no idea how the scientific method works.

2. The evolution connection
Evolution is accepted by scientists and this requires a long time scale and thus an older earth than is biblically accepted. This means all the evolution evidence is false as it does not fit in with young earth creationism. we are not offered any alternative for evolutionary evidence like DNA, chemical and fossils its just not accepted.

3. The big-bang connection
The heresy of the big bang is thrown out as it contradicts the bible on what was created first i.e. the heavens or the earth. Also the one possible end to the Universe is heat death and that also contradicts the bible and eternal Heaven and the Revelation. I wonder why they only give credence to the heat death hypothesis and not the other ways the Universe can end? Maybe they don’t know about them, like all the other things they don't know about. The people at answers however do not offer any proof that the bible is real (not even a link), I guess that’s in another article.

4.The Assumptions of Naturalism and Uniformitarianism
These are philosophical questions, so not sure why they are on a so called science site. In other words lets ignore them, and by the way they are rejected as they disagree with the bible.


5.The distant starlight problem
Apparently the problem that starlight from the furthest stars which would take billions of years (thereby affirming the billions of years old universe) is wrong. This is easily explained by the fact that God can magically make light move faster if he wanted, so even if these stars are billions of miles away its not a problem for an all powerful God. Again as before no evidence is given for this God, so guess its somewhere else. Wish they would give a link though.

6.Light travel-time: a problem for the big bang
Answers points out that the Horizon Problem is the biggest failing of the Big Bang Theory. Well here we could say they are correct, as they reject the inflationary theory and that is fine. However, again they are rejecting a theory (like evolution) for which there is experimental evidence without offering an alternative beside the bible which does not explain anything. Dishonesty anyone?

7.Attempts at compromise
Here answers shows all other theistic interpretations to try fit Genesis with the Big Bang are wrong as they are misinterpreting the Bible. Whatever I don’t care, let them theists keep there silly arguments between themselves. After all the Bible is not accurate in anyway.

8. The evidence confirms a young universe
Finally, the evidence!.........
Uhhmmm, seriously there was none.

All in all, if you don’t believe the bible you have no evidence for young earth creationism. Yet they offer evidence, this evidence is called denial and shouting louder.

Monday 21 October 2013

Taking Christian delusion to another level

This contains spoilers to the Breaking Bad Final Episode.
This article from a few weeks back at Charisma news has been plaguing me since I read it and so finally I think I understand why it has been doing this. The article at Charisma somehow deals with Breaking Bad been a religiously motivated story, and this is what bothered me so much as I who have watched Breaking Bad never saw anything Christian like in it. (Side Note: Actually I saw many things Christian like, stealing and lying, but I never saw anything that Christianity is meant to be.)

So when I saw phrases from the article like.
Further proof that the series’ drama is a profoundly religious one is the fact that theologically minded people are still fiercely disputing exactly what the ending meant,
Writer Sonny Bunch even saw Gilligan slyly turning White into Jesus Christ—the wounds in Walt’s hand and side, his reference to the view of the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountains, his “sacrificing himself to save the people he loved,” his cruciform death pose.
I was flabbergasted to say the least and had a lot of thinking to try understand it.

So here is my final analysis. I think this is another delusion by Christians trying to justify something that does not fit in with what their bible is telling them. The fact is the anti-hero in this series was a drug dealing murderer, and there is no way to reconcile that with what he did. When he died he deserved it as he was not a good person, yet you do feel a little for him as he is also the stories anti-hero. This is where the problem arises for Christians.

So what happens next is that we have people trying to reconcile his deeds with supporting his family. At which point it is obvious to see just how far some people are willing to bend their morals and delusion themselves. In a nutshell, we have Christians running around wanting to watch Breaking Bad (as it was a great show) but realising that it does not adhere to their world-view. So they twist their world-view into something acceptable so as to be able to watch a TV show.

How messed up do you actually have to be, not to be able to just call it entertainment.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Holy Communion - Satire

I just think this is a fantastically funny joke, hopefully I wont offend to many people as it really is humorous in a twisted way.Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Saturday 19 October 2013

The god gaps just became a whole lot smaller

Sometimes great work is produced in science and this is one of those times. The recent article entitled " A Remarkable Self-Organization Process as the Origin of Primitive Functional Cells" from Angewandte Chemie is remarkable in that it makes stupid creationist arguments even dumber than they were last week. It does not answer all the question about how life started, but it fills in another big gap which creationists like to hide behind and put god in.

Basically, what these scientists did is they showed that when you inject lipids (to understand the basic cell formation, follow the link) into a mixture of chemicals then you can get the makings of a fundamental cell.  Excitingly this cell with certain chemicals (from the mixture) contained in it is then able to produce proteins. These chemicals do this by first going through a self assembly process, which is basically molecules organizing themselves into groups, that are then able to perform functions together. Here are some pictures to illustrate the process.

Its also noteworthy that the scientists showed that these reactions cannot happen in all cell sizes that form, which is what would be expected from an evolutionary perspective. When the formed cell gets too large then the reactions are no longer able to happen. They went further to show that these protein formation reactions can only happen 0.5% of the time. This is very relevant as the actual calculated value should be closer to 0 than 0.5 %, which means that this is a favourable process. This means life wants to form with no external/godly influence. Guess that means whatever god you choose is running out of places to hide. The fact is science has put your ridiculous creationists arguments into the fiction category they belong in a long time ago. Now how about you embrace it.

Friday 18 October 2013

Idiots of the week- Diana Nyad and Oprah Winfrey

This weeks idiots went out of there way to not have a concept of what an atheist is. First Diana Nyad said she is an atheist, then Oprah disagreed that she is an atheist, then turns out Diana is not an atheist, and then Oprah was right but for the wrong reason and then just watch its easier...... Disclaimer: I wont be paying any medical bills for broken brains.
So I think they are both deserving of this award for not understanding. Now I am may be wrong about Diana, and she may be an atheist. But when you are talking about souls and spirits it just sounds very new age, and not very atheistic. Also when you talk about souls living on after death then I have to wonder if you understand the meaning of atheist. So, I am going to say that she is not an atheist, either way they both don’t understand what an atheist is and still deserve the award.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Islams contributions to science

This post is dedicated to some of the great the Islamic scientists back in the day, and a lot of them during the great Islamic Golden Age. So when I saw this web page of great things that Islamic scientists have contributed I thought I would share them with the readers. After all we should not always criticise religion, even though I do not believe for a minute that Islam had anything to do with these great minds and their scientific discoveries.
The eye by Hunain ibn Ishaq (Source)

According to, Islam has contributed many major scientific breakthroughs and this is a fact. I will mention only a few, I do suggest however, that you go look at the page yourself.
The Jalali Solar Calendar. Which is a very accurate calendar which put the year at 365.24219858156 days which is very close to the actual 365.2422464 days.
The Astrolabe. Which can be used to predict the position of the sun and moon and hence can be used for navigation.
Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī was very influential in getting the world to adapt the Arabic numeral system, which originated in India.
Nasir al-Din al-Tusi developed trigonometry into an independent field, which is of major importance in design for example.
There is mention of a range of other things like hygiene, medicine, chemistry etc. etc etc.

The thing that irritates me, is that the people at scienceislam seem to insist that verses like
"God created no illness, except that He has established for it a cure, except for old age. When the antidote is applied, the patient will recover with the permission of God."
Drove scientists to develop medicines, or
"We (Allah) will show you (mankind) Our signs/patterns in the horizons/universe and in yourselves until you are convinced that the revelation is the truth."
Drove scientists to develop mathematics.

This really drives me insane, as why is it always religion that has to make people do good things? Its a bit like saying Newton developed the laws of Gravity because he believed Jesus was the saviour of mankind. I am sure most of these scientists were like the great Christian scientists of yesteryear in that that everyone was a Muslim where they lived., and so they also were "Muslims". Also we should also remember that Muslims are all for killing the non believers, so I would also be a "Muslim" after all life is not that bad.  Even if these past great scientists were Muslims, I don’t think the Koran is inspiring scholars now days, as it has no scientific wisdom in it, except to tell us mountains stop earthquakes and  other inaccurate things regarding embryology and the brain.

Monday 14 October 2013

Teaching with creationist textbooks (Thanks for pointing the spelling mistake out Craig :)

This post is inspired by a recent Bitchspot podcast.

In the US and various other countries there are theists that are trying to force the ridiculous idea of creationism down students throats as fact by getting creationist material placed in school textbooks, or by handing out creationist textbooks minus evolution. This is a very disturbing practise as there is no evidence for creationism and as such teaching it as science is just wrong. Often these debates focus on the church and religious fanatics, but I think there is a need for another approach to this.

We should be asking one question, "Who are these publishing companies who are allowing this to happen?" While I am sure the economic card can get played, it is irrelevant as these publishers are meant to be supplying educational material. The fact is that if a publisher wanted to say there was nothing wrong with the Holocaust they would not be allowed to sell this book to schools, yet this view is held by some idiots. So why do we allow these publishers to put creationist material in textbooks when it is false information held by a few IDiots? In fact I would even go one step further and say I would not wanting these publishers to be supplying any books to schools, as clearly they cannot be trusted.

Just in case you are in doubt about creationist textbooks, here is a news article relating the removal of a living dinosaur i.e. the Loch Ness monster from their book, as they believe
"the Loch Ness monster is a questionable example to use, and also because the claim has become such a distraction, we agree that it is wise to delete Nessie's reference from a textbook that lists possible living monsters."
The spokesperson does go onto say that their is no real scientific evidence for Nessie.
"the survival of such a creature today in Scotland is very hard to believe."
"After multiple uses of sonar and other instruments, the hard observational evidence is just not there for Nessie's existence today. Any such creature in Loch Ness has likely died out,"
But this is 2013 and its only happening now. So really what is going on with this company they should not be allowed anywhere near school textbooks. Granted they are mainly supplying to home schoolers and private schools, but its education and its wrong to teach wrong things. Again if a private school was teaching holocaust denial the government would step in and stop them, so why is this not happening with these creationists texts.
We need to write to these companies that are buckling to creationist demands and stop them, as it is unacceptable. So who are these idiots making these books? Here is a short list of non creationist publishers that have been influenced before.
Publisher agreed to "eliminate the references to fossil fuels being formed millions of years ago" so as not to conflict with Biblical timelines. (Harcourt response to Margie Raborn, Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, 8/23/02)
Publisher agreed to CHANGE any references to events "millions of years ago" to instead read "in the distant past" or "over time" so as not to have ancient geological events predate Biblical timelines. (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill response to Robert Raborn, Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, 8/23/02)
You know of anymore publishers that are bending to creationists and fundamentalists? Realise these are 2 of the biggest publishers worldwide and it just shows again what a disease religion really is.

Sunday 13 October 2013

I read it, I reread it, I re-reread it etc.

One of the common arguments used by theists is that atheists cannot comment on their holy book as we have not read their holy book or are taking parts of their holy book out of context. This usually comes about when an atheist says your deity cannot be good because of verse x line y, or an atheists asks a theists to explain what their god meant when they inspired someone to write something in their holy book. The thing that theists need to understand is that most atheists have read various holy books in full. I for example have read the Koran, Dianetics, The Bible, The Biblical Apocrypha, The Baghvad Gita and the Unpanishads. (For the Unpanishads specifically the Oxford edition.) Hell, I have even read some of the so called mysterious Nag Hammadi library. Now, I don't say this to boast I say it to show you that I have read a few holy texts. So when I comment on your holy book please don't say to me, "You have not even read the x", as chances are I have.

With this background let me delve deeper into what I want to complain about to any theist that reads this today. I can sum up my complaint like this, "I am not here to explain your holy book to you." Yet when I am debating theists it seems that is what I have to do half of the time. This is an extremely frustrating as I would expect you to know your source material at least as well as I do. After all, you believe it and take it as fact but you cannot even reference it correctly and realise where the errors are. I would expect any theist to have counter arguments for errors in the text or to be able to point me to another portion of the text where it explicit states that this is what is meant in the source and it is not an error. Yet, this never happens so let me elaborate more with two examples.

The first example comes from the bible. In the new testament (NT) the Council of Jerusalem decides that only certain old testament (OT) laws are applicable to the Christians, specifically they mention the laws that govern sexuality among them. Interestingly, this was man that decided this and not Jesus as Christians would like you to believe.
Acts 15: 28-29 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
This means you must follow anything which involves sexual laws in the OT, that means marry the rapist, no sex during the period, kill a father who sleeps with his daughter in law, kill homosexuals, having sex with your dead brothers wife if she has no children (You have to its law), etc etc. This is what the Council of Jerusalem means, I shouldn't need to explain it to you. f you are looking for wriggle room on your religion, maybe you need to get rid of it and become rational. So no, Christianity is not the religion of love.
The second example comes from the Koran and the following fun verse.
Surah 9:5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
This means you are meant to kill everyone that is not a Muslim. Please realise I am not taking this verse out of context, it says explicitly that you must "slay the idolaters wherever ye find them." It is very dishonest of you to say an atheist is taking these words out of context as the context is clear. In fact the verse before and after this are basically telling believers that unbelievers are scum and not to be trusted as they owe believers a debt. So no, Islam is not the religion of peace.

Remember theists, atheists know your source material and we even have handy guides like the one I used abundantly in this post. Maybe you should be using these versions of your holy book instead of your version at home, as they are annotated and explains what the verses actually mean and not what you want them to mean. Don't expect us to back away and not attack your holy book just because we are atheists, if you cannot defend your book then maybe its not worth defending.

Friday 11 October 2013

Idiot of the week Tom Corbett


 Uhmm, if you have not seen this please take a few seconds (47 to be exact) to understand why Tom Corbett is the latest addition to idiot of the week. Link.

Yes, you did just hear that. This fool equated gay marriage to incest. Previous comment about gay marriage been the same as paedophilia are attributed to his legal team, so lets let him off the hook for that one. After all he doesn't need someone to take the blame for him when he makes comments that I would rather attribute to a Tourettes patient than someone in government (No offence to Tourettes patients). So gladly it looks highly likely that he will not be seeking reelection, and I think its even more likely that he will not get reelected anyway after these types of comments.

Just in case you don’t think he is religious in any way, here is a link showing how he tried to use tax money to fund religious and private schools. Fortunately this never happened.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

The Hoax Hand of Hope

Note to readers: Decided to post new blogs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and every second Sunday. Other days if I post it will be either memes or other funnies.

I am learning so many things this week, just goes to show knowledge is not a bad thing. This blog post deals with following the facts about a very famous photograph. This is something I do very often and I would recommend using this when in doubt about something. This tale is especially true when you are running low on time.

I came across the following photograph (The Hand of Hope) that was taken during a medical procedure and is used by anti-abortionists as a reason not to abort foetuses. Now this photograph was taken by a photographer Michael Clancy and on his website you can find out that according to him, the baby reached out and grabbed the doctors hand as if to say thank you for saving my life during the operation. Immediately I was dubious of this claim, as as far as I know foetuses at 21 weeks are not all about giving high fives to doctors, so I decided to investigate and this is what happened.

1) I was pressed for time so I typed in the following into Google.

2) Then I clicked on Snopes and found out it was a fraud.  Seriously Snopes is really good at what they do. Here is what the doctor said, whom we have to trust more as it was not the first operation this doctor has ever done. In other words this doctor was a lot more aware of what was going on than a photojournalist.
"The baby did not reach out," Dr Bruner said. "The baby was anesthetized. The baby was not aware of what was going on."
Here are some more links for the doubters. 

See how easy it is to question a belief? I wish more religious people would do this with their own beliefs.

Side note the photographer converted to Christianity 3 months before the photo was taken, so clearly he was not easily influenced into seeing God at work during this moment.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

The Man Christ Jesus (AKA the Antichrist)

I am so sad I had not come across this earlier, like last year April 29th specifically after all this was the day that the reincarnation of Jesus (Jose Luis de Jesus AKA the man Jesus, AKA the Antichrist) was meant to transform into immortality and rule the world within 62 days or less. The clip embedded here is when he is proclaiming to his followers that he will transform and its his final farewell before he meets them in the Armageddon. (Warning: This is extremely Boring rather watch the interview with Bill Maher)

Anyway needless to say he didn’t transform and rule the world, as it still seems pretty much the same as it was last year....or did I miss Armageddon again. In fact you can stop by his website and listen to his latest sermon where apparently he will still be transformed. If you didn’t hear about this guy before I gather that it is because he is so boring, not like the other fruit loops around that think they are Jesus. He did feature in Bill Mahers Religulous movie, and here is part of the interview that Bill did. (Warning: Contains some strong language)

What is pretty cool is that he has a 666 tattoo on his forearm which he believes is not the number of the beast (which I agree it isn't) is the number of wisdom (which I disagree with). I suppose that this number is a code that you have to leave Jesus of Nazareth behind and see the Other, or The Man Christ Jesus himself. Even some of his followers have their own 666 tattoos, so they are more like a gang than a church. Then again most churches are essentially gangs who go around bullying people.

In closing, why cant he be Jesus? I mean Jesus wasn't the son of God either so there is no difference between the two. There is even doubt that Jesus even existed, at least this guy is real. This is honestly one reason that makes me ask the question,"how anyone can think their religion is true?"

Monday 7 October 2013

Can creationists be scientists?

Can creationists be scientists? this as the title at answersingeneises which made me look twice and read why. So it is with much dismay that I have to admit to finally agreeing with something on the answersingenesis website, because yes creationists can definitely be scientists. I know multiple scientists who are creationists (not young earth creationists) but who believe a God created the universe and they do good science. However, I feel there needs to be a lot of clarification as this can be easily misinterpreted.

Firstly, if a scientist is a creationist and is in the top tier of their respective fields it is important to realise that this does not make this person an authority on everything science. I for example am a chemist, but it does not make me knowledgeable to write a book about human evolution. This is in my opinion one of the biggest problems with the so called expert creationists scientists.

Secondly, while great science can be done by creationists, it must be noted that the concept of believing in the creation requires a non sceptic attitude. As a scientist I would say scepticism is one of the most important character traits and so it leads me to wonder what great innovations have scientists who are creationists missed out on? This is not meant as a back handed comment, but I do have to wonder, as sometimes scepticism can lead to some remarkable discoveries that could be dismissed as an error. I have posted before that been a sceptic will make you an atheist but not vice versa, so we can accept the same from theists.

Lastly, if you are a creationist you cannot be a credible evolutionary biologist or a creationists biologist. Actually, you can never be a creationist biologist as creationism does not exist, unless you consider man made bacteria creationist biology.  This is the line that must get drawn, as there is no evidence for god driven creationism and while you don’t need to believe in evolution to do physics, chemistry, math etc, you cannot be a creationist and study evolutionary biology. It is these biases that are embraced by the IDiots at the creation institute that mislead people into believing creationism is science, while discrediting real fact driven science.

In other words, this is not OK.

Saturday 5 October 2013

Why we should not move away from tabooo science

I was reading a commentary piece online at Nature about the Ethics behind certain genetics studies. The were talking about genetic studies on intelligence, race, crime and sexuality and how these topics are very taboo. They can be so taboo in fact that often geneticists will not even attempt to study them as they are aware of the potential fallout and ostracisation This  got me to thinking about what should be studied and what subjects are too taboo that they should not be studied. Here is my conclusion which I came to very easily and it is that everything should be studied. I base this on the opinion that all information is important and as such should be studied.

However, I can see why some people would be against some of these genetic studies. It is simple to see how genetic sexuality studies could be used by the church. For example if it was shown that there was no genetic link to homosexuality, it would be a crowning achievement for the church to crow about how it is not natural. However, what they would fail to realise is a result like this does not make it wrong. BTW, it seems very likely that there is a link between genetics and homosexuality, but we should remember that sexuality is a spectrum hence, gay, bi and straight and all the others in between I am missing.

Or what about the justice system convicting people if there were links found between crime and genetics? This would mean that people have no way to control their emotions and we know that is not true.

The biggest problem with any knowledge is that many people use this obtained knowledge for very bad reasons. Just look at the atomic theory which got harnessed for atomic energy and the atomic bomb. So in conclusion, all knowledge is good, it really just comes down to the people who use it and how they rationalise using this knowledge. This is one reason why we should encourage rational thinking, because you want rational people using information, not a bunch of crazies draped in their superstitions.

Disclaimer if you want to study people dying, I would not consider that a valid study. I add this disclaimer as I am sure someone will say "Oh, so its OK to study anything, so I want to study people dying" or something similarly stupid.

Friday 4 October 2013

Idiot of the week (Saeed Abedini)

I have decided to retire the Dear God segment as it really is difficult to think up stupid prayers that are relevant every week. Also, I want something more fun to do for myself. As such I am now launching idiot of the week, which will be filled with a person I determine to be the idiot of the week regarding religion or theists issues. As such this award can not only be one by theists but also by atheists.

My guess is that Pat Robertson will win this award the most followed closely by Ray Comfort. However, the theistic and atheistic world is full of non sceptics so I guess anything could happen. Without further ado lets get started.

This weeks Idiot of the week goes to non other than the Iranian/American imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini. This pastor has been arrested in Iran for a second time for preaching Christianity. That's right....Its the second time! he first time around was in 2009, when to get out of jail he signed a document with the Iranian government (of which he is a citizen ) saying he would never preach again in Iran. He has been back and forth to Iran several times since to visit family and build an orphanage since the initial arrest. However this all changed last year when he got arrested for preaching and got stuck in jail again.

Needless to say the Christian faithful are out to save him, and say he did nothing wrong while ignoring the facts. But the fact is he can be lucky that he is only in jail, as the death penalty is usually applied to converts from Islam according to the Koran. That's right he was a Muslim before converting.  I mean someone who has been expressly forbid by the government, who knows what happens to converts from Islam and still goes back to the country where all of this has happened surely is deserving of the inaugural idiot of the week award.

Thursday 3 October 2013

The Muslims disagree with the BigBang, but then again we all should

Before you comment about the headline let me explain myself. You see the biggest misconception about the Big Bang is that it well was a Big explosion. As is stated in the wikipedia article about the  Big Bang  it says that
"though simple atomic nuclei formed within the first three minutes after the Big Bang, thousands of years passed before the first electrically neutral atoms formed."
So this massive explosion was not what people think about when they think Big Bang. The term was actually coined by Fred Hoyle by accident, and he was not happy that the name stuck as he thought it was an absurd name for the theory. This happened in a BBC interview when he said
"These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past."
So the Big Bang is something that we should disagree with....but in name only as it makes a lot of people think of this massive very fast explosion and expansion which is not entirely correct.  After all the planets and stars only came much later after the initial big bang. Importantly, the big bang does not explain anything about the origin of the singularity etc. it only is about the expansion of the universe.

This is why I am amused at the stories offered at Scienceislam regarding the big bang. These fools honestly think that the big bang never happened and rather that everything was just put in place by Allah. The reasons behind this are given in some amusing analogies for the big bang of which I give my most interesting one here.
A gas leak in a pharmacy warehouse causes a terrific explosion. All the different chemicals and substances just smash into each other in exactly the correct amounts to produce a miracle drug which cures everything form cancer to heart and liver disease, old age and warts?...
Wait... there's more to this one:
It is all in one formula, packaged in the bottles with labels and ready to sell with no mess left on the floor?...

Reading this analogy for the big bang I am sure you now understand why Muslims reject the big bang. Its simple really, they do not understand the science behind it and have no inclination to realise that they are misinterpreting words. BTW if this sounds different to another post I have discussed from this same site...... it is. I cant help it that religion has no consistency when it comes to not understanding science.

I leave you with this wonderful quote form the website, just in case you are in doubt about the authenticity of Islam and science.
Islam tells us Allah is both The Creator & The Evolver, of all that exits. We know Allah did not evolve us from monkeys, and we know all things are from Allah.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

I am Pope and I will make shit up as I go along

This story from the BBC which details that Pope John Paul II and his predecessor Pope John XXIII will be made saints next year on the 27th April did not surprise me. Lets be serious all these popes are the tongue of God on earth so they better become saints. Yes even Pope overlord Benedict XVI, who I have now heard retired to take up a role in the remake of the Star Wars movies where he will fill the role of the emperor Palpantine.....OK I made that up.

Anyway for those of us not up to date on our sainthood rules, one very essential thing is that 2 miracles must be attributed to the person to be sainted. This is obviously very difficult in this day and age as for example miracles like trees weeping the tears of God get proven easily to be aphid poop. So lets see what miracles these popes did to deserve their sainthood.

Pope John Paul II has been attributed the following two miracles. 1) The curing of a 49-year-old French nun, who had Parkinson's disease. I am sure she was not taking any drugs etc. and the evidence of her disease never mind her cure is all from church sources. Interestingly, some other doctors are saying different things, like she never had Parkinson's in the first place. 2) The second miracle attributed to the Pope is a Costa Rican woman who made an "inexplicable recovery" from a serious brain illness. Again the details are pretty sketchy at best and her doctor is a catholic in a catholic nation so I am sure they are not been misled by an artifact/error in an X-ray or anything silly like that.

Oh as for Pope John XXIII he only has one miracle attributed to him, the current Pope Francis decided he didn't need a second miracle. See what I said in the beginning is true, you just have to be pope to become a saint.

What amazes me however is how the catholic church continues to get away even bending their own rules never mind the rules of country's they exploit and not lose every follower. When I was a theist my branch of Christianity used to say the Vatican was the seat of evil, I guess they were right about something.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

And then there was oxygen about 3000000000 years ago

An article from last weeks Nature shows that the oxygenation (oxygen becoming part of the air we breathe) in the earth’s atmosphere started at least 300-400 million years earlier than previously thought. For the full article click here, subscription only.

To determine if oxygen was in the atmosphere and available at that time. The scientists showed that by analysing the amount of oxygen sensitive metals it is possible to determine the amount of oxygen that would have been present. This can be done by looking at isotopes of chromium metal (and other oxygen sensitive metals) and noticing what oxidation state they are in. Isotopes are the same element with a different structure in their nucleus. Oxidation state is how many electrons a metal atom has lost, so the metal can be in different forms like 1 or 2 or 3 etc. Very oversimplified but I think it conveys the message.

So why is this important? Because, for these oxidation states to exist in certain metals there is the requirement that micro-organisms exist!Now the authors do say they could be out by 5 to 10 million years, but even then using the maximum and minimum of both totals it is still only 3% difference in age. Additionally, extensive tests were carried out to show that the observed oxygen content was not from weathering of the rocks and inclusion from water filtration through the rocks.

So there you have it. Life may have existed 300-400 million years before the previously thought 2.6-2.7 billion years ago. I guess the young Earth creationists will say their age and that accepted by science is only out by a factor of 260 000, so clearly their age fits the science.