Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's that time of year again

Christmas is just two days away. When the Sun rises on that morning, it will begin it's annual sojourn northward, rising higher and higher everyday. On that morning, the Sun will repeat the cycle of defeating winter, cold, and death. On that day, you can honestly say, the Sun is risen.

Throughout antiquity in the ancient Near East, astronomy, astrology and myth were inseparable. Due to lack of scientific knowledge, these ancients tried to account for the natural world by creating gods and goddess. One of these gods was Mithra, a Persian solar messiah.

Those who worshiped Mithra celebrated his birthday and annual resurrection from the netherworld on December 25th. Around the time that Christ was said to have been born, the state religion of Rome was Mithraism. Early Christians in an attempt to attract converts to their religion adopted many mithraic customs, among these blood sacrifice, communion, baptism, and a dying/resurrected savior that bore the burdens of all mankind. In order for the sins of a follower of Mithra to be washed away, they had to be bathed in the blood of a sacrificed bull. It is also interesting to note, that Mithra had twelve followers or helpers, those being the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

It is for these reasons that Pope Julius I, in an attempt to eradicate the "pagan" worship of Mithra and Sol Invictus, decreed that Christ's birthday would be observed on December 25th.

Here are some terms for you to research:

Happy holidays.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The floor is yours, Amy2.


Welcome to my blog.

Here, you will find a much different environment than the one that you are used to at Ray's blog. In this environment, the First Amendment is honored, not tread upon like a doormat. Here, you can state whatever you wish, no matter how much it may offend your audience. In this place, no posts are screened nor will they ever require my approval. Anything you say will be automatically uploaded. No post will ever been censored, nor will they ever be deleted, even those that I disagree with or defeat my argument.

There are no rules here. There are no moderators. There is only the pursuit of truth, logic, and reason.

While I respect the faith of others, I have nothing but contempt for the type of dogmatic faith that tries to involve itself in science and politics. That should not suggest that I don't believe faith can be used to advance science and humanity. And I absolutely detest the kind of faith that is used to injure or kill others who don't subscribe to their point of view.

While I do not accept Christianity, I am not an atheist. I believe that the goodness that you have is in spite of your faith, not because of it. I believe that anyone who claims to know the will of God and make extraordinary claims, like raising the dead, is at the absolute height of arrogance and should not be trusted. I also believe that God, whoever He/She/They/It may be, is far too dreadful and powerful for any and all of the world's religions to claim as their own.

Without hesitation, I accept science over faith. And while I believe that faith can be used for both good and evil, I believe that same can be said of science. For all the triumphs that science has given us, it has also given us many dark chapters in human history. I also believe that if a divine Creator does exist, and created all of the rules that drive the physical Universe, then that Being also gave us the curiosity, creativity, and intellect to discover the mysteries of that Universe. In other words, I don't believe that God would give us a brain and not challenge us to use it.

With all that said, you are welcome to choose any topic you like for discussion. As I stated in Ray's blog, you are welcome to post as many links and quotes as you like.

I yield the floor.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Number of creationists are falling

The results of a Gallup poll regarding creationist numbers were released on December 17.

First the bad news. Forty percent. That's the number of Americans who believe in a literal 6-day creation, a global flood, Noah's Ark, that snakes can talk, and that goats get their stripes because their parents had their way with each other in front of a row of poplar rods. Some still believe that the earth is flat.

Now for the good news -- acceptance of evolutionary biology is rising while the number of creationists slowly falls.

The evolution/creation "controversy" is a misnomer because it's been a beatdown in every sense of the word. When a creationist asks for evidence of evolutionary biology, they have that evidence handed to them by the boatload. But they summarily reject it because they're too afraid to honestly look at the evidence and admit that they're wrong. Conversely, when you prove to them why biblical creationism is wrong, they simply regurgitate the mantra "You're misinterpreting things," or "You're taking things out of context," or spout some other non-sense about things they don't understand.

It's not that creationists are too stupid to understand evolutionary biology; it's that they're blinded by a dogmatic worldview that doesn't require evidence -- only faith. As Youtuber AronRa stated in his video series, Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism, in order to be a creationist you don't need to know anything about astronomy, physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, genetics, plate tectonics, meteorology, paleontology, taxonomy, zoology, optics, or even geography. Creationists choose to remain willfully ignorant, and that, to me, is worse than stupidity. What makes things even more irritating is that they claim to know science better than scientists do.

Ask a creationist on the spot what a theory is, and they typically can't answer you. Ask them what genetic drift is and they'll give you the deer-in-the-headlights look. Ask them if an alligator and a crocodile can mate and they'll shut right up. Ask them to tell an astronomical unit from a light-year, an allele from a zygote, an atom from a photon, a monotreme from a marsupial, or a quasar from a red dwarf, and they'll usually panic. Most creationists believe that evolution is not science, but when you ask them how it's not science, they'll squirm as if they're in a dentists chair having a root canal.

The evidence continues to grow in support of evolutionary biology by leaps and bounds. It is the foundation of modern medicine, food production, and forensic science. More people are waking up everyday from their dogma-induced stupor, observing evidence and realizing that they have been lied to for years. If creationists wonder why that is, and why atheism and agnosticism are on the rise, they only have themselves to blame.

So, if you're a creationist, keep it up. In the long run, you're only doing science a favor.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Answering Ray's distortion of Einstein

Over at Ray's blog, in the header you fill find a picture of Einstein and one of his quotes that Ray cherry-picked to try to steer you toward Ray's perverted way of thinking.

Ray would like you (and himself) to believe that Einstein not only believed in God, but a very personal God at that. As always, Ray distorts the truth, if not outright lies through his teeth. While Einstein certainly did believe in God, he did not believe in the kind of God who played an active role in our daily lives. And though Einstein had a certain disdain for using his quotes regarding faith and God, here's one that Ray is wishing that Einstein never put to paper:

"The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."

Chew on that for a while, Ray. Watch the clip by Penn Gillette below, in which he reads the above quote from a letter that Einstein wrote to philosopher Eric Gutkind on January 3, 1954.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just a thought

Last night I was enjoying a beer at Otto's with my friend, Dave, when we started having a discussion about Christianity. And it got me to thinking about something. According to Christians, Jesus is perfect by default since he is God. Christians also believe that stoning is wrong, as is slavery, along with a torrent of other nasty crimes against humanity. This is where the wheels start to fall of the wagon for Christian fundamentalists regarding the myth that the Old Testament doesn't matter because Jesus gave us a new covenant.

Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law (although he never mentions which law or group of laws), not to condemn. But if Jesus fulfilled all of the laws in order to clear the way for mankind to gain access to Heaven, including this law, then he's guilty of murder. He killed witches so you won't have to.

If you are a Christian, how then can you say that Jesus is God?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's coming, Kentucky!

Sometimes the stupidity and willful ignorance in this country becomes so painful that I imagine for a moment what life would be like in Germany. I don't even know where to begin on this one.

Developers in Kentucky are asking the state government for tax exemption on a Noah's Ark-based theme park. AiG and Ark Encounters, LLC (whoever the hell that is), are joining forces to get this creatard funfest up and running by the end of 2014. Developers are hoping that it will bring in 1.6 million visitors a year and create 900 jobs. They're also hoping that it will have a ripple effect over a large geographic area. But the only effect it's going to have is the continued intellectual, downward spiral throughout Kentucky and the rest of the south.

If you're one of those that work for AiG, Ark Encounters, or the Kentucky state government that is seeing this travesty through, or if you are considering donating your hard-earned money to this cause, please spend some time examining the parallels between other flood myths to that of Noah's. Watch the videos below by Youtuber ItsTheSuperFly, in which he absolutely eviscerates the myth of Noah's flood/ark. After kicking yourself in the head for about an hour after realizing that you've been duped into believing this crap, consider putting that money toward something useful, like an education. Then go buy yourself a nice, hot, fresh cup of coffee and remind yourself that Noah's Ark was only a myth.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go buy a nice, hot, fresh cup of coffee of my own.