More skeptical artillary

This just discovered:

irrationalnonsense

It’s from an amazing website which I’ve added to the links on my sidebar. Access The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense here for an interactive explanation of each element.

The Reason Stick

A blunt, shit-stained instrument wielded indiscriminately to bludgeon pseudoscience, superstition, blind faith and common or garden irrational bollocks.

Awesomeness!

Comfort-able Lies

raycomfort

It’s just a pity I cannot reblog this post about Ray Comfort from Skepticblog. Instead I’ve lifted the hilarious image above, and you can read the rest here.

For those who don’t know, Ray Comfort is a preacher of sorts who hails from Down Under, and now plying his trade in the USA, which is perhaps one of the most gullible countries in the world. Comfort trades in lies, by the way.

Like Ken Ham (who coincidently also hails from down under), Ray Comfort perverts the basics of science any way he can, to spread pathetic lies about Evolution, while promoting the absurdity known as Creationism. When his total and utter lack of understanding of the basics of biology and science is pointed out to him, he ducks for cover behind willful ignorance.

After reading the article, one has to wonder whether Ray is indeed a total idiot, or a very clever money-grubbing scumbag.

Wine Wasting

Let me make it quite clear. I’m no wine connoisseur, but as I’ve grown older I’ve developed a taste for good wine; a real liking for this nectar of the gods.

How do I know which wine is good? I don’t. If it tastes good, it’s good wine. I generally prefer white wine to red, but recently I’ve started liking a certain brand of rosé. I also tend to stay away from the cheap plonk; which is not to say that I buy expensive wine.

A lady friend heard about a wine tasting event that is held annually at various venues along the Vaal River in South Africa, and suggested that we give it a bash. So this Sunday past, six eager wine tasting virgins drove down to the Vaal Meander and a place called Stonehaven-On-Vaal, to see what all the fuss is about.

Being a skeptic, I was well aware of the suspicions against people who claim to be wine experts. However, part of this excursion included a boat cruise on the Vaal River with lunch and wine (tasting) on board, not to mention the companionship of four beautiful women… and I was not about to miss that.

At the restaurant prior to the cruise, we were allocated an expert of sorts who served us 26 different wines to taste. I think the idea was to swirl, sniff, taste and spit out the remnants into a bucket provided, but I couldn’t be bothered with all that; I just quaffed down every portion poured into my little goblet. My companions however tried valiantly to play the part, and we all rated our wines on a score-card provided.

Wine aboard

Wine aboard

We could not complete tasting all 26 different wines, before boarding the boat for the cruise. The “expert” was kind enough to allow us to return after the cruise to complete our little wine tasting adventure, which we did. Even then we just could not go through all of them, but managed around 18 labels, including that served on the boat.

I am pleased to say that I gave 5 labels a perfect score of 20, which unsurprisingly differed wildly from my companions ratings. So I guess it all comes down to personal taste. Perhaps I was being too generous, or maybe a little drunk, but there you have it.

All in all it was an enjoyable outing, well worth the measly cost. Seems there’s going to be a beer festival at the end of the month at the same venue. Guess what? Yep, we’re in…

OMG! Why are so many people going ballistic over GMO?

If social media is to be believed, Monsanto is Public Enemy No. 1, or very close to it. Seems like even people I would normally consider as reasonable, just seem to go batshit crazy when it comes to Monsanto and GMO’s more specifically.

I’ve been conducting a running argument on this blog and over email with one of my many critics (whose name shall remain concealed from those who have not read the comments section on the relevent post), who insists that GMO’s are harmful, evil even, despite there being little to no evidence to support that assertion. He picks his evidence from websites that spread absolute bollocks, like Natural News.com (no, I’m not even going to link to it), to trusting without question the horse-shit written by wacko’s like Mike Adams. [Read this response to his latest attack on GMO's].

I’m not going to try to convince you on my own why GMO’s are perfectly safe. I’ll just leave that to someone who is by far more eminent. Neil deGrasse Tyson.

I’m amazed how much objection genetically modified foods are receiving from the public. It smacks of the fear factor that exists at every new emergent science, where people don’t fully understand it or don’t fully know or embrace its consequences, and therefore reject it. What most people don’t know, but they should, is that practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food.

There are no wild seedless watermelons; there’s no wild cows; there’s no long-stem roses growing in the wild — although we don’t eat roses. You list all the fruit, and all the vegetables, and ask yourself: Is there a wild counterpart to this? If there is, it’s not as large, it’s not as sweet, it’s not as juicy, and it has way more seeds in it.

We have systematically genetically modified all the foods, the vegetables and animals, that we have eaten ever since we cultivated them. It’s called “artificial selection.” That’s how we genetically modify them. So now that we can do it in a lab, all of a sudden you’re going to complain?

If you’re the complainer type, go back and eat the apples that grow wild. You know something? They’re this big, and they’re tart. They’re not sweet, like Red Delicious apples. We manufactured those. That’s a genetic modification.

Do you realize silk cannot be produced in the wild? The silkworm, as we cultivate it, has no wild counterpart because it would die in the wild. So there’s not even any silk anymore. So we are creating and modifying the biology of the world to serve our needs. I don’t have a problem with that, cause we’ve been doing that for tens of thousands of years. So chill out.

Here’s the video:

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…