Sunday, May 31, 2009

Creationists, listen up!

Meet Dr. Richard Lenski. Dr. Lenski is an evolutionary biologist at Michigan State University. He has won multiple awards in the field of microbiology, and is a fellow at the American Academy of Microbiology. We'll forgive him for teaching on behalf of the Spartan nation.

Over the past 20 years he has studied 12 populations of bacteria that have gone through a total of ~44,000 generations. Through successive mutations between 31,000 and 32,000 generations, the bacteria developed the ability to consume and metabolize citrate, something previous generations were unable to do. In other words, the e. coli developed a beneficial mutation.

This is just one of the hundreds of thousands of pieces of empirical evidence that evolution is ultimately fact. Organisms evolving beneficial mutations is is something that most of you regard impossible. But Lenski has proven you utterly wrong.

There are those of you who frequent Christian apologetic blogs like Ray Comfort's. Everyday when I go to Ray's blog I read commentary to the gist of, "Evolution is evil," "evolution doesn't exist," "there is no proof of evolution," etc. I have tried to reason with you. I've asked you to give a testable, scientific alternative to evolution, but you refuse to do so. The word "testable" is very important, and here's why.

Science deals with the physical, natural universe - that which we can measure and test.

You love to proclaim that there is scientific proof of God. But something that very few of you either seemingly accept or understand is that God is supernatural, and is therefore outside of space and time. God is spirit. God is unable to be measured or tested. Therefore, invoking a creator or deity of any kind is not science because every time you mention your god you invoke the supernatural, and put the clamp down on scientific research. Every time you mention a creator, you commit intellectual suicide.

I'm finding that it is impossible to reason with the unreasonable. You insist that people like Dr. Lenski and Ken Miller are evil monsters bent on turning children into godless drones. But you refuse to go to college, get a degree in biology, genetics, or engineering, to challenge evolutionary biology. Even a geography degree would help!

I have a challenge for you all. I want you to provide a testable, scientific alternative to the theory of evolution.

If all you can do is quote Genesis 1:1 to me, don't waste your time. I won't even read it.

Get busy!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Leilani Neumann: Guilty of second-degree homicide

Less than one week after the trial of Leilani Neumann began, a jury found her guilty of second degree homicide in the death of her 11-year old daughter, Kara. You may recall that Kara died last March after her mother denied her medical treatment for diabetes. Rather than take her daughter to a doctor, Leilani believed that her faith would be enough to save her daughter. Leilani could serve 25 years in jail due to her negligence.

Leilani's husband, Dale, will have a separate trial on June 23rd.

In related news, the parents of Daniel Hauser have agreed to a court order to let their son receive chemotherapy.

Research suggests religions owe their success to martyrdom

I'm not so sure how I view this one.

A new article released by New Scientist presents religious belief to be the result of acts of obedience to a particular faith, such as going to putting money into a collection plate, going to alter calls, outward expressions of faith like wearing a crucifix or Star of David, or simply going to a mosque or church, lends credibility to the establishment of a particular religion. But according to evolutionary anthropologist Joseph Heinrich at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver, the most important display of true faith is martyrdom.

The article goes so far to say that the only difference between Superman and Jesus Christ is that no one ever died for Superman.

While this may be accurate, I think this article may be a little too generalized.

The world's oldest religion is Hinduism. While there may be violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims today, I know of no devotee to Brahma, Krishna, or Khali that ever laid down their life as an expression of faith. One could make the argument, I suppose of, of Mahatma Gandhi, but Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu radical because of perceived political weakness.

Christians may certainly jump at my response to this article and say that I'm absolutely wrong. I've been asked many times, "who would die for a lie?"

There are plenty of examples I could offer, but the two that come to mind are Muslim extremists and doomsday cults like Heaven's Gate. You may recall that in 1997 Marshall Applewhite and his followers committed mass suicide when he led them to believe that there was a UFO in the tail of comet Hale Bopp waiting to beam them up out of the imminent nightmare that was about to fall upon the planet.

It is true that adherents to particular faiths pay the ultimate sacrifice for their faith. But it needs to be mentioned that some would rather make others pay that sacrifice instead. Numerous solar cults in the Americas and the ancient Near East brutally often took part in human sacrifice to appease their gods with blood sacrifice. Again with the blood thing. And I don't think anyone needs to be reminded of 9/11.

There may be some truth to what Heinrich has to say, but I think Heinrich is oversimplifying the intricacies that weave the fabric of faith.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Texas scores one for science

The Texas State Senate has decided not to confirm young earth creationist lunatic and Texas state board of education member (cringe), Don McLeroy (R, of course). The decision stems from McLeroy's position toward evolutionary biology - scientists are "atheists," parents who urge their children to learn about evolution are "monsters," and pastors who support evolutionary research are "morons."

Spoken like a true creationist.

There isn't enough ridicule that this man can bring upon himself. Let's be glad that there is hope for rationality in the Lone Star state.

On the downside, South Carolina senator, Michael Fair (R, of course) has introduced Senate Bill 873 in an attempt to "examine all curriculum in use in this State that purports to teach students about the origins of mankind to determine whether the curriculum maintains neutrality toward religion."

Let's just hope the members of the South Carolina State Senate are as smart as their Texas counterparts.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Limbaugh on Sodomayor: "Racist"

It hasn't even been 24 hours since Obama nominated Sonia Sodomayor to the Supreme Court bench, and Limbaugh is already attacking her as a racist.

Hey, Rush - it takes one to know one.

Just keep opening that big mouth of yours, Rush. I'm having a blast watching your party eat itself alive from the inside out. You're the best thing that ever happened to democracy!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Reason #1,094,437 why I'm not a Republican anymore.

Leave it up to Republicans in Congress to stink up a good thing.

This is a country that is starting to feel the pain of living high on the hog for so long. The value of the dollar is dropping like a rock. There are 6 million people in this country are looking for work, and many of those people are starting to use their credit cards to support themselves. Many of these people have at least $80,000 worth of credit card debt.


But after decades of trying to get some form of credit card relief passed, Congress has finally succeeded.

Last year Democrats in Congress introduced the Credit Card Reform Act of 2008 in an attempt relieve some of the overwhelming,unfair, and outrageous fees associated with credit card debt. Yesterday, President Obama signed the bill into law. The bill requires credit card companies to become transparent regarding their fees. Companies can no longer tack on 30% interest rates on consumers without good reason, although there is no good reason for such high rates. And once consumers pay off their debts, companies have to return their rates to something more manageable, like 8%.

Speaking from experience of someone who has felt the sting of out of control credit card debt, all I can say is it's about damn time!

But some Republicans have decided that credit card relief for Americans isn't good enough. In order for them to vote in favor of the bill, they had to slip in a measure that would allow citizens to carry loaded guns in national parks.

National parks? Are you serious? Are they afraid that Americans are going get carjacked by raccoons?

Again, do you Republicans still wonder why you had your asses handed to you last November? If there is a Republican who voted for this bill who is reading this, please leave a comment and tell me what the hell the 2nd Amendment has to do with credit card relief?

According to the FBI, about .0000165 %, or 1.65 out of 100,000 violent crimes occurred in national parks throughout the country in 2006. That number is now sure to rise.

Thanks, Repubs!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hal Lindsey is an a--hole.

I completed my daily news rounds, rifling through all the science, world events, and religious garbage I could in 2 hours. My last stop of the night, of course, was the WND where I found an article by Hal Lindsey blaming the current geopolitical, moral, and economic woes on President Obama. For those of you who may not know, Lindsey is a Christian Zionist and author of 14 books based on sensationalism and fear-mongering. He also thinks that President Obama is solely responsible for preparing the world for the Antichrist.

Lindsey states in his opening sentence:

"When I heard President Obama's speech yesterday in which he practically accused the former administration of war crimes, I had to go out into my yard and walk off my anger."

Apparently, Lindsey hasn't kept on current events over the past 8 years. We were lied to when it came to WMDs in Iraq, we were lied to when it came to Iraq's supposed procurement of yellow cake uranium in Niger, and we were lied to when we were told America does not torture. We were lied to when we were told that all detainees at Guantanamo were suspected terrorists (at least two-thirds weren't, but they are now), and we were lied to when we were told there was a connection between al Qaida and Iraq (there is now). I'm not saying that some of these people weren't terrorists, but I am saying not even half of these people were.

Perhaps Lindsey would like to be ripped from his home, family, friends, forced to confess to terrorism through waterboarding and sleep deprivation for days on end, then subsequently whisked away to a detainment camp in Afghanistan for 7 years. But I suppose that would be a human rights violation. Right, Hal? Do you wonder why some innocent terrorist suspects who have been cleared of all charges were found fighting after they were released? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.

Hal finishes his article by stating:

"May God save the United States of America from this kind of leadership that borders on criminal ignorance of the motivating factors of our most deadly enemy."

Need I remind you, Hal, of the numerous biblical verses that say God alone places men in places authority? How then, can we call the United States of America a true democratic republic, and what right do you have to criticize the decision of God?

Congratulations, Hal. You have revealed your true identity as yet one more brainwashed rightwing nutcase, as well as your inability to tell and discern the truth. For someone who gets their inspiration from the Bible, you certainly don't know it as well as you claim.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Right wing talking heads silent as troops go thirsty

In this news article released by KHOU in Houston, TX, it has been learned that troops have had to resort to theft from Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) in order to attain safe drinking water. It tunrs out that the subsidiary of Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton, has been hording water when they're tasked with the responsibility of distributing water to troops.

This is the same company that is responsible for faulty wiring that has been killing troops, and sanitizing water supplies so that the troops can have clean water for drinking, cooking, and showering. Instead, troops are constantly worried about pathogens and insect larvae in their water supply.

While troops endure daily temperatures over 120 F, dysentery, nausea, vomiting, and electrocution, KBR executives continue to rake in cash by the boatload. Contractors now outnumber troops by about 5 to 1.They have the luxury of leaving employers like Xe (formerly Blackwater USA), KBR, Halliburton, and Triple Canopy, but troops are bound by military law and enjoy no such luxury.

Where is the outrage from right wing blowhards like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent, and Glenn Beck? Where are you when your troops need you Neil Boortz? Where is your sense of patriotism Billy Cunningham, Joseph Farah, and Michele Malkin? Why don't you care about the suffering of our troops, Bill O'Reilly? Where are all the voices of "conservative" radio when American troops are dying from corporate negligence?

I know you all have books to sell, SUVs, condos, and yachts to afford, so you'd rather saw off your own testicles with a butter knife than rat out your corporate sponsors. But when is enough enough? When will you stop hiding behind the safety of your golden microphones and speak out about the evils of your own party and corporate interests? When will you finally become decent human beings, and start calling a spade a spade? Do you still wonder why the rest of the country is leaving your ranks? Is it any wonder why you had your asses handed to you last November?

If there really is a hell, there's a special place there waiting for all of you. You are all cowards and disgrace not only America, but the human race as well.

By the way, Sean, we're still waiting for your water-boarding to take place. Watch Sean get pwned by Charles Grodin in the clip below:

It's almost been a month now, Sean. What's the matter - are you scared, or are you just not patriotic?

Watch the clip below from "Iraq For Sale." If it doesn't anger you, you're not human.