Tag: Religion

Bad news for Creationists: archeologists have discovered yet another transitional fossil

May 1, 2009 | By | 69 Replies More
Bad news for Creationists:  archeologists have discovered yet another transitional fossil

Archeologists in Canada have discovered the fossil of a previously unknown species that shows features of both land- and water-dwelling mammals. Though not a direct ancestor of modern seals, the fossil nevertheless gives clues to how today’s water-dwelling mammals evolved.

One begins to wonder how complete the fossil record needs to be before Creationists admit they’ve been wrong all along. Something tells me no amount of completeness will ever satisfy them.

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Gay Marriage = Religious Freedom

April 22, 2009 | By | Reply More
Gay Marriage = Religious Freedom

One of the more ludicrous statements made in the recent NOM Gathering Storm ad was the claim that legalizing gay marriage somehow takes away freedom from those who oppose it.

Here is an eloquent response to that claim. This clear and well made video exposes some of the myths and mis-information about the threat that gay marriage poses to religious freedom. In fact, the host makes the argument that only WITH gay marriage can we have religious freedom!

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Solution to those worried about their destiny: join EVERY religion

April 20, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More
Solution to those worried about their destiny:  join EVERY religion

Edward Current joined a religion just in case, but then he realized that he’d better join them all, just in case.

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Anti-gay, or pro-discrimination?

April 20, 2009 | By | Reply More
Anti-gay, or pro-discrimination?

Following on previous comments about gay marriage (1, 2, 3), prop 8, and the increased change of falling skies… I was very pleased to encounter this extremely well argued vid on Ed Brayton’s blog. He demonstrates both strong logic, and the ability to construct his argument from facts. Something he demonstrates to be lacking in the christian opposition.

If our opponents actually argued like this, the debate might even be interesting!

I’m experiencing some issues with WordPress and embedded video – so click here for the video on Youtube

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Hitchens -v- Christian Radio

April 13, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More
Hitchens -v- Christian Radio

I often find Christopher Hitchens to be an insufferable ass, and often too abrasive and sure of himself to be enjoyable, but I really enjoyed this takedown.

Hitchens is invited by the host, Todd Friel, of a Christian Radio show to play a version of the Christian ‘What if?” game. This game tries to lead you inexorably from fanciful scenarios based on the presupposition that god exists, to the conclusion that since god exists you should, of course, accept jesus into your life!

Hitchens’ demonstrates the right way to engage with such dishonest tactics – simply play the game on your own terms.

Well done sir!

Hat tip: Pharyngula

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Fearful bunnies

April 11, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More
Fearful bunnies

I was walking the dog last night when Holly (the collie) spotted a couple bunnies in the nearby grass. The bunnies stood perfectly still as we walked past, even though Holly was pulling at the leash trying to run over to take a closer look.

This Good Friday anecdote illustrates a common phenomenon. When they sense that potential predators are nearby, many types of animals get as still as statues, thereby blending into the background to avoid confrontation. It’s not hard to see how such a behavior has been naturally selected.

For some reason, it occurred to me that many of the conservative religious folks who visit this site do something analogous when they feel threatened by freethinkers. They intellectually freeze. Instead of engaging on the topic, they pull out a pre-packaged arsenal that includes a handful of platitudes that they repeat ad nauseam in order to avoid intellectual confrontation. These platitudes are not invitations for meaningful discussion, but rather inert utterances such as the following:

  • The Bible is inerrant.
  • Science doesn’t know everything.
  • Humans are not “animals.”
  • Science can’t disprove God or supernatural occurrences.
  • People who question religion are arrogant.

For some conservative believers (and for all fundamentalists), these platitudes (which range from ambiguous to disproved) constitute their entire “intellectual” arsenal. When the predator freethinkers have moved on, these believers spring back to intellectual activity, even going so far as to vigorously question everything else in their lives. They aren’t fools, you see. They only fear taking a close look at their own cherished beliefs.

In other words, many religious conservatives are unwilling to make any meaningful intellectual moves when it comes to discussing their own religion. They’re unwilling to consider new evidence, even evidence that is overwhelming. They are unwilling to consider new proven-reliable ways of analyzing evidence. Hence, evolutionary biology is an anathema. Why? [Repeat the platitudes over and over].

In short, many people who are religiously conservative use a strategy of intellectually freezing in place, hoping that all of the scientist-predators simply move along. In their own minds, this is a strategy that has been proven to “work.”

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Teach the controversy? Yes, while wearing one of these shirts.

April 5, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More
Teach the controversy?   Yes, while wearing one of these shirts.

Teach the controversy? Yes, while wearing these witty and “intelligently designed” shirts.

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Scandinatheists? Maybe not so much

April 1, 2009 | By | 120 Replies More
Scandinatheists? Maybe not so much

Ah, those blessed Scandinavians. Reputedly cool, calm, collected, rather good race drivers and, it would seem, not really that concerned about gods one way or the other. During my time observing and participating in discussions about religion and its public role over the last few years, Scandinavia has often been held up as a bastion of faithless virtue, a shining beacon of godless goodness, a prime example of what can be accomplished on a transnational scale without referring to scripture but merely concentrating on what works for the populace.

Atheist/secularist/humanist commentators often to point to Scandinavian social successes (for example low unemployment, high standards of living, functioning democracies, effective public health care & education) as evidence against the claims of many religious people that if we in the West abandoned our “Judeo-Christian” values or kept our church & state separate, our nations would all fall, unrestricted by fears of celestial surveillance, into a grimy, black crevass of murder, pillage and hedonism (one could argue that the US in the last eight years has fallen into an economic & diplomatic hole of a similar depth, led by a very religious man who was happy to pander to very religious people for his entire reign, but that’s a whole other article).

According to a recent New York Times article by Peter Steinfel on a study by Californian sociologist Phil Zuckerman (here), it seems that far from there being only two sides to the god coin, the Scandinavians, almost characteristically, have ended up on a third side. And here it is:

They don’t care.

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Fundies really do say the darndest things

March 29, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More
Fundies really do say the darndest things

It’s enough to make Jesus depressed. I just learned of a site called Fundies Say the Darndest Things.

This is your one-stop shop for finding “an archive of the most hilarious, bizarre, ignorant, bigoted, and terrifying quotes from fundies all over the internet.” The bad science is reason enough to visit the site, at least until you are sufficiently depressed at hearing such nonsense. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Consider, too, the 100 all-time most ignorant and offensive fundamentalist quotes. Each on of them is taken from a fundie website and includes the link to the original (consider Rapture Ready, for example).

Consider watching FSTDT’s reenactment of some of the quotes at youtube (warning: some coarse language). All of this will leave you shaking your head wondering how people can be so pompously ignorant.

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