The evolution destroyer

proofevolution

His name is Joshua Feuerstein. Joshua must believe he’s an absolute genius because it took just three minutes for him to destroy hundreds of years of work by biological scientists.

That three minutes of assumed genius is contained in this video posted on his Facebook page.

The reality off course is that Joshua is a monumental ass. He preaches a very dangerous ideology that will wreck the future lives of potentially tens of thousands of children by tainting their education with pure unadulterated bullshit. Joshua wants science to be kept out of our classrooms. Here’s his starting point:

Evolution is not a science. Never has and never will be. Why? Because it cannot fit within the parameters and parentheses of science for one simple reason: It was never observed. That’s why it’s not science. That’s why it’s called the theory of evolution. One man’s theory.

By embracing such a fundamental misunderstanding of what a scientific theory is, its little wonder the rest of his blasé rant goes pear-shaped. A scientific theory is not something that a scientist just simply asserts. A scientific theory is “a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena.” [one variation].

There’s really no point in debunking the rest of his bullshit, but it’s done fairly well here on Patheos.

If you value honesty and collecting just the facts, I advise that you steer well clear of this guy. And if your kids are going to any school that heeds the demented advice of such corrupters of the truth, get them the hell out.

The future is in science, not fairy tales.

The Universe A Perfect Creation?

rock space

People are always telling me that the universe is a perfect creation. They go further and assert that it was created especially for us humans – not so much for everything else that winds up as food on our table, clothes on our backs, shelter over our heads, or comforts for our pleasure.

Well… ATTENTION

I’ve got news for you. The world is in fact positively hostile. Everything out there is trying to kill you. And a great many things right here on Earth are also not only trying to kill you, but have been doing so for ever; quite successfully too. It’s in fact much worse – the universe is not only hostile, but fucking indifferent too.

The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent, but if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. – Stanley Kubrick

Think about it…

The only thing that is actively trying (unappreciated, I might add) in all the known universe to save your bacon, is your fellow human being (sometimes the odd dog or cat). And yet we behave in the most appalling manner towards the fellow members of our species. If I have to spell out the ways in which we do this, you are truly beyond redemption and the sooner you hurtle off this rock, the better for all of us.

Credulous at best your desire to believe in
Angels in the hearts of men
Pull your head on out your hippie haze and give a listen
Shouldn’t have to say it all again
The universe is hostile, so impersonal
Devour to survive… so it is, so it’s always been – Tool, Vicarious

Irreverence FTW!

ideology

The primary reason for creating this blog was to deliver irreverent commentary on the strange beliefs that people cling on to for dear life. I had a second blog which I used to cast derision on the shitty things that politicians do.

I decided to merge the two because ideology and politics seemed like a match made in heaven, and it kinda made sense for me to take the piss on both these forms of lunacy on the same forum.

After a while I decided that since there were so many other things that were of interest to people, I would not limit myself to just writing about strange beliefs and dirty politicians. And so the part about “… just about anything else not as perplexing or vile…” was born. However of late I have not focussed nearly enough on the irreverent bit and seemed to drift off into posting a lot of stuff about everything else.

Nothing vex’s someone more than when you try to burst their ideological bubble. It may seem cruel, and I sometimes feel a little remorseful afterwards, but the eventual benefits of making someone see things differently, even if a little, is to my mind worth the effort. I have had lengthy debates arguments here with some of my commenters. Nearly all invariably grow weary and never come back; a fairly large number exit with the traditional, but very annoying parting shot “I’ll pray for you.” Yeah, you will not believe how many people are praying for me. I’m truly blessed.

I am all too familiar with the adage that you’re not going to convince someone to change their mind by poking fun at their beliefs. Fuck that! Sometimes it’s the only way. The other benefit is that I too have learned from this process. I harboured many ideological beliefs, some of which have been modified, others turned completely on its head, more still totally discarded.

Anyway, I think I’m gonna start being irreverent again with my very next post. Until then…

Facebook Skepticism

I’ve been tempted a few times to prune my Facebook friend tree, but haven’t done so because in between all the bullshit that’s posted on my feed by the uncritical, there’s  the odd gem.

Besides, I have only a little over 100 Facebook friends, a fair number of whom are related to me in some way or the other, and I don’t want to risk a family feud.

I’m not so much annoyed by a lot of the posts that smack of credulity, as puzzled and bemused that otherwise seemingly bright people don’t care to check facts etc. before sharing guff stuff on their timeline. Anyway, I found this brilliant piece yesterday which kinda sums up what I’m talking about:

SkepticGlassesNow I’m pretty sure that some a lot of my posts, especially those of a political or irreverent nature must annoy a lot of them, but I don’t attempt to pass them off as facts. I expect bright people to know the difference between opinion or commentary and verifiable truths.

Ham’s Ark

Featured

Saying “what the fark” would be kind off late as the Ark Encounters project is not really news, being punted some time ago already by Answers in Genesis’s Ken Ham.

Not surprisingly, the whole ludicrous idea has been the subject of much mirth since inception, but recent reports suggest that it will finally get off the ground because of a sudden flood of cash that has materialised, probably through the foolishness generosity of credulous supporters.

HamArk

In the last week meme’s such as the one above have been doing the rounds on social media. So how is spending money on this project any different from spending money on say the space programme? It’s a valid question since space programme funding could equally be argued to be spent more productively on feeding poor and hungry people.

Well it is different and the difference is captured poignantly here by Gwen Pearson of Wired, the online publication:

This is an attraction that exists to promote a religious message. It’s not about animals at all. The welfare of the animals and their biology is less important than their ability to reinforce a religious myth.

This project will not enhance or better the current or future lives of human beings in any meaningful way as the scientific discoveries made on the space programme will. In fact, Ark Encounters not only will diminish the lives of people by keeping them chained to the outlandish ideology of Creationism, from the article it is apparent that live animals, should they be used, will be subjected to much distress.

Like the Creation Museum, another one of Ham’s obscene projects, this one will most probably become a reality. Reason alone seems unlikely to dissuade these perverters of science from going ahead. Perhaps nothing short of a biblical deluge in Kentucky will.

The “open mind” conundrum

bible wheel

“Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

Variations of this quote have been attributed to a number of different people such as Richard Feynman, G.K. Chesterton, Richard Dawkins and Bertrand Russell. However, having recently debated a literalist Christian on this blog, I have realised that it sounds rather crude.

My detractor claimed that I don’t have an open mind, which is why I will never understand, let alone accept the assertions in the bible. In hasty retort I quoted the line that precedes this post.

So as I’m currently re-reading Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World – Science As A Candle In The Dark, I was reminded of that encounter in a chapter titled The Marriage of Skepticism and Wonder, which I think perfectly settles this conundrum.

As I’ve tried to stress, at the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes – an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive, and the most ruthlessly skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. The collective enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking, working together, keeps the field on track. Those two seemingly contradictory attitudes are, though, in some tension.

There, now everything’s clear as daylight. Thanks Carl.

Kids DON’T say the darndest things

Remember that CBS television series hosted by Bill Cosby?

We all used to think that the responses were cute. Admit it! Well, they’re not. The responses were just simply untainted by ideological baggage that we pick up along the way as we grow older.

However, not all kids are so lucky as to be free of indoctrination at that tender young age. Adults (sometimes well-meaning, sometimes not) tend to influence their kids into accepting and believing some of the craziest bullshit imaginable.

I found this today, and can only hope that these kids stay on the right track, but if they don’t, I wish someone would show them this video clip.

As adults, it’s extremely difficult to NOT be untarnished by ideological filth, but fortunately the information age makes available many resources to get back on the right path. If you want to, off course…

Sick puppies

Clashes Around Muslim Brotherhood's Main Headq...

Clashes Around Muslim Brotherhood’s Main Headquarters in Cairo (Photo credit: Jonathan Rashad)

I was truly horrified when I read a report today that members of the Muslim Brotherhood were setting puppies alight and using them as gas bombs, during the current protests against the ousting of Egyptian President Morsi. These reports were carried by a number of online news sources, even reasonably reputable one’s.

Not surprisingly, there was an instant outcry from many gullible people who accepted the story without giving it a second thought it seems.

My suspicions about the veracity of these reports were immediately raised because this act is no ordinary thing. It takes a special kind of monster to do something so heinous. After a bit of checking, and when the story disappeared from the source where I had originally read it, I came to the conclusion that there was some mischief afoot.

My skepticism was confirmed by The Guardian’s Egypt correspondent Patrick Kingsley, and reported here in the Huffington Post:

I think it’s really, really unlikely that Muslim Brotherhood protesters could have turned puppies into firebombs during clashes in Tahrir Square. Aside from a couple of brief instances, Brotherhood demonstrators have not been able to enter the square all summer. Most importantly, the logistics of this seem barely feasible. Gathering 20 puppies, transporting them to a protest, dousing them in petrol, and then throwing them at soldiers while being teargassed strikes me as not just impractical, but nigh-on impossible.

Why would anyone spread such vicious lies? I hold no brief for the Muslim Brotherhood, or any Brotherhood for that matter. They’re all mostly crass ideologues. But there’s absolutely no need to slander a person or organization by spreading false rumours or blatant lies about them, especially when they do such a great job of discrediting themselves.

Whoever spread this hoax are really sick puppies.

Pareidolia

Pareidolia. Sounds like an exotic island and a dreaded disease at the same time. But it’s neither!

According to the Skeptic’s Dictionary, Pareidolia is a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as clear and distinct. In other words it’s the phenomenon whereby your brain tries to make sense of things by recognizing patterns. Or more simply, “that familiar thing you’re seeing ain’t real.”

However the best way to explain it is by way of example. Here is the photograph of the Face on Mars from the Cydonia region, taken during the Viking missions to the red planet.

The “Face on Mars” was one of the most strikin...But there are many examples with a religious theme, this one being the funniest by far:

dogbuttjesusAnd off course the more mundane:

English: Example of Pareidolia in clouds. The ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finally this one, strictly speaking is not an example of Pareidolia, but a head banging song about it.

So the next time you see something on your toast that looks like a deity or Pope WhatsHisFace, don’t go telling everyone you’ve experienced a miracle. It will only be a miracle if nobody laughs.