Friday, June 26, 2009

Welcome to the 8th century

A video has been posted to YouTube of a church in the U.S. performing an exorcism on a gay teenager. I'd like to comment as little as possible, except a few lines below.

People often say that humans are an intelligent species. I couldn't disagree more. Only SOME humans are intelligent. The rest are irrational psychos. I write the following with as much condescension and disgust as I possibly can; these people do not deserve to be called 'intelligent'.

The news article is here. Notice the line in the article that says this is not the first time that this particular church has done an exorcism. The video is below. In the name of Jeeza! In the name of Jeeza! In the name of Jeeza! The blood of Jeeza!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Intelligent Design and the Two Courts

I'm a big fan of You-Tube user, Thunderf00t's, video series, Why Do People Laugh At Creationists? There are currently 30 videos in the series, but it's the latest one that I think is a real gem. The videos often use scientific knowledge to contradict the teachings of biblical creationists, the problem being that any good, shit-for-brains, biblical creationist will merely reject any scientific knowledge presented as being flawed. But Episode 30 in the series is a bit different because it catches a member of the Discovery Institute in his own web of lies, in such an obvious way that even creationists, in their limited mental capacities, should see it.

The video focuses on one particular twit, Casey Luskin. Now to Casey's credit, he doesn't appear to be a young-Earth creationist, as he has published at least one paper on orthodox geology, according to the video. Yet it's in Casey's other role, arguing for the inclusion of intelligent design into school classrooms, that he earns his shame.

At the beginning of the video, Casey is shown accusing "Darwinists" of an unwarranted conspiracy to tie together creationism and intelligent design, in order for it to be rejected from schools as the teaching of religion. He says that intelligent design is "agnostic" on the topic of the source of this intelligence. Later on in the video, he is shown arguing, through his various writings, that the intelligent design movement does, in fact, believe that the Christian god is the creator, and encourages young people to start groups which believe just that. He even uses the terms 'intelligent design' and 'creationism' interchangeably.

The video is quite good, and leaves absolutely no reasonable way out for Luskin, who has been caught in his lies and two-faced strategy. On the one hand, when trying to court the religious to support his cause, he claims outright that the Christian god did it. But on the other hand, when it comes time to go to court to argue that intelligent design should be in classrooms, he turns around and argues that intelligent design makes no such claim, and that it is entirely different from biblical creationism.

Once again, the lies and lack of moral integrity of the Christian god's followers have been exposed. And once again, the religious fall flat on their face while nipping at the heels of science like the little bitches that they are.

The full video is below:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Atheist's Riddle Revisited

My first post on the Atheist's Riddle has been my most popular post, bringing in roughly one-third of the traffic received by the entire site. A search for Atheist's Riddle on Google and Yahoo rank my post highly enough that it is arguably the most popular rebuttal to Perry's ridiculous garbage on the internet. Because of this, I thought it was time to revisit the post, but from a different angle.

A possible rebuttal to my first post, though not a very good one, is "Hey, you can't use DNA and RNA as the examples of codes created by nature! You have to give a DIFFERENT example!"

I'd like to examine this objection, which will demonstrate why the style of proof attempted in the Atheist's Riddle is just pathetic. Keep in mind that I am not going to do what so many others have done and try to argue that DNA is not a code. I'll just grant him that, because it honestly doesn't even matter.

I am not a clock-maker (get the reference?). I don't make clocks for a living or a hobby, and you can look at hundreds of millions of clocks in the world and I haven't made any of them. But if you look in my closet, you will find a single clock that I made as a project in elementary school shop class. It has the San Francisco Giants' logo on it, as I was a huge baseball fan at the time.

Now, one could take that clock and make the following argument, which parallels the Atheist's Riddle quite well:

1. This object is a clock. It has hands and numbers around a dial, it ticks, and it can be used to tell time.

2. The author of the Atheist Propaganda site is not a clock-maker. All clocks are created by somebody other than him. There is no known instance of him creating a clock.

3. Therefore, this clock was not created by the author of the Atheist Propaganda site.

If you can find an example of a clock that was created by the author of the Atheist Propaganda site, you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.

Now the most obvious objection to this absurd argument is that I've only ever made one clock, and you're holding it! But if we allow the counter-objection that I cited above, you could try to make me find a DIFFERENT clock that I made. No such clock exists. Does that prove that I didn't make the San Francisco Giants clock that you're holding?

So the objection to my counter to the Atheist's Riddle really collapses under its own absurdity. What if nature only made one of these codes, or in this case, two? By denying their use as examples to 'topple the proof', you've really just made an ass of yourself. I think you can see why this style of argument is not a good one to use in trying to prove the existence of gods, but I'm not surprised that there would be people dumb enough to try.

Once again Perry, get bent.

(Edit: click here for more on the Atheist's Riddle)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Truly Depressing Story

I read this article on today and just had to address it on this page. It's about a common belief in Africa regarding HIV/AIDS. As hopefully most of you know (not holding my breath on this one), some countries in Africa have HIV infection rates around 1/3 of the entire population! It's an absolutely devastating disease, and there is not enough appropriate education going on. Some of what education is being attempted is actually being sabotaged by the largest sect of Christianity; but more on that later.

The belief in question is that if a man is infected with HIV, he can cure it by having sex with a virgin. The first part of the article is below, and it's absolutely shocking:

Hope was 14 years old when her uncle raped her. "He trapped me to the ground and covered my mouth with his hand," said the 18-year-old from Zimbabwe. "He threatened to kill me if I ever told anybody."

So, she kept quiet.

"After a while people around the villages started saying that I looked pregnant," she said.

Hope was not only pregnant, but her uncle had infected her with HIV.

Like many young girls in Zimbabwe, Hope was the victim of a widely held belief that if a man with HIV or AIDS rapes a virgin he will be cured of his disease. This so-called virgin myth, perpetuated by Zimbabwe's traditional healers, has led to the rape of hundreds of girls, according to UNICEF. Some of those victims are too young to walk, much less protect themselves.

Betty Makoni has fought for nearly a decade to protect her country's young girls from sexual abuse. And she's witnessed some of the worst cases of the myth in action.

"The youngest girl I ever came across was a day-old baby who was raped," said Makoni, 37.

This really pisses me off! This is what happens when you are either ignorant of, or reject scientific knowledge!

Now there are probably a lot of you 'nice, loving', (but probably homosexual-hating and war-supporting) Christians who are saying, "We don't rape girls, we're not dangerous and we resent you comparing these people to us!"

Yes, you ARE that dangerous! You are now, you have been in the past, and you will be again in the future. Besides the past rapes and murders your religion has committed on a scale much larger than this; besides the wars you begin, and have begun, because you think your god is commanding you to; besides your witch hunts, residential schools and organised cover-ups of sexual abuse; you are also ENABLING this kind of shit to happen all over the world!

By not standing up for science and by not standing up for reason and rationality, you hold all of humanity back! Even the moderates among you hold us back by not attacking the ridiculous garbage being spewed from the mouths of the fundamentalists in your religion. The half of all Christians who are Roman Catholics hold all of humanity back, but also hold back the fight against HIV/AIDS in particular, when you allow your leader to tell Africa that condoms are not the answer, and don't revolt against him!

Religious belief is, was and always will be, dangerous. To the individual religious people reading this, you might not be out there raping girls, but you are every bit as stupid and gullible as these men are! You prove it every time you open your mouths about angels, gods, resurrections, ghosts or virgin births, and every time you question current scientific knowledge in favour of an ancient text. It will only take some charismatic leader to rise in the future to make you follow once again into dangeorus territory.

If you'd like to help in this cause, I have some suggestions:

1. Those of you who are Roman Catholic need to stop giving donations at your churches, and let your priest know that you will not be giving any more money until the Pope takes a pro-condom stance for reducing HIV infection rates in Africa. Organise with your fellow church members and encourage others to join you! Better yet, leave the religion altogether! Just be sure to explain to your priest why you're leaving.

2. The moderates among you need to start telling the fundamentalists just how disgraceful they are! Tell them that they don't represent you. It's time to stop holding back just because they believe in your god.

3. Fundamentalists need to shut the fuck up, or go kill yourselves. Go be with your god, and do the world a favour at the same time!

4. Any readers, atheist or religious, can check out the charity started by the woman in this article, the Girl Child Network, and make a donation.