Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Gov. Prick Error"

AronRa's response to Gov. Rick Perry's call to prayer/fasting.

Thanks Everyone!

This is the seventh day since the birth of this blog and I want to thank everyone for checking it out.  I especially want to thank Dustin for making me an official "Friend of the Evolving Scientist".  Since then, I've recieved a jump in page views and it is hugely appreciated. 

I think I've figured out the social network plugin, so you should be able to "like" me on facebook as well as follow the blog from there.

Again, I thank everyone for visiting.  Please leave comments and tell me how I'm doing.  If you like what you see, "like" me and pass the word on.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.   =)

Yeah! for Skepchick!

I know this is also posted on Pharyngula today, but I thought it was such a wonderful presentation that I had to share it here.  Check out Skepchick's Rebecca Watson giving a speech at a the CFI-Transnational conference when you have a spare hour.  She is brilliant!!!  Keep up the good work Rebecca!!!


Not Yo' Mamma's Sunday School #001

Welcome, boys and girls, to the first edition of the new Sunday series in which we will explore the stories of the Bible, including all the parts that they don't tell you in Sunday School.

Today, we explore the story of Abraham (Abram) and Sarah (Sarai).  It starts off slow, but gets better.  Feel free to read along in your Bible kids.  Here we go....
Genesis 11:26-28 
Terah begat Abraham (no mother was mentioned - sexist bastards), then Abraham married Sarah.
Genesis 11:30-32
Terah moved himself, his son Abraham, his grandson Lot and his childless daughter-in-law Sarah from Ur to Canaan to live with his other son Haran, who was Lot's dad.
Genesis 12:1-5
God then told Abraham to leave the country and his family to a land to be named later.  But Abraham didn't leave everything; he took with him his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot, all his stuff, and his slaves.  (Yep, slaves are okay in God's book)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Crazy Polygamist Threatens Those Who Prosecute His Church

Wow, this certainly seems to be a frequently occurring theme from the faithful.  Warren Jeffs, leader of the extremist Mormon sect whose trial began recently, claims he will bring "sickness" and "death" upon those who oppose him.
"I, the Lord God of heaven, ask the courts to cease the prosecution of my holy ways," Jeffs said. "There will be a judgment against all those who prosecute the church. ... I shall let all people know of your unjust ways. I will bring sickness and death. Let this cease."

[Judge] Walther then told him that "if you call for the jury's destruction" while the jury -- who will decide if Jeffs is guilty on two counts of sexual assault on a child -- is present, "you will be removed from the courtroom."

The defendant responded by saying, "I am not threatening. I am releasing a message."
Read more here

This scary dude has an estimated 10,000 followers and he has been able to maintain contact with his flock via telephone conversations.  I sincerely hope that the jury is being protected against potential attacks from these loonies.

Thankfully, this "smurfin'" dumb dumb has decided to represent himself, so the trial probably won't last long.  His delusions will not save him from paying for his crimes.

Of Course, Satan Made Him Do It

What an excuse!  I can only shake my head. 
An Arizona man is facing a felony count of sexual abuse after forcing his maid to inappropriately touch him and then blaming Satan for his actions, MyFoxPhoenix reported Friday. 
Bobby Guyton, 76, put the woman’s hand on his penis on four occasions while she cleaned his trailer home in Glendale, Ariz., police said.
The maid came forward in June, telling authorities that Guyton was making sexual commends toward her and she felt uncomfortable, MyFoxPhoenix reported.   
Article Continues
My question is, why did she allow it to happen more than once?

"Smurfin'" Critics!

First, let me say, I have not seen The Smurfs movie because my son is practically grown and this movie is geared towards the kids, and because, from the reviews I've seen, the story line is not particularly engrossing.  But from the review I just read on Christian I may have to rent it when it comes out on DVD.

This review classifies the movie as "not family approved" based on these criteria:
Sex: Husband/Wife kiss a few times.
Language: "I'll be smurfed"; "I so smurfin' love you"; "done smurfin' around"; "you smurfed with the wrong girl"; "Son of a smurf"; "For smurf sakes"; "Smurf me"; "Is a smurf's butt blue?"
Violence: Many chase scenes between the Smurfs and Gargamel with kicking, throwing of things, slap stick violence throughout the film but nothing too graphic.
Drugs: None
Nudity: Cleavage; Gargamel waves a wand with "Smurf Essence" over a woman's head and she becomes younger, her breasts enlarge, her waist becomes smaller and her bottom slims down.
Other: Magic potions, incantations and spells. Gargamel takes an ice bucket in a restaurant and urinates in it in public. While we do not see his privates, we can hear the act taking place. 
roflmao -  The movie has been given a rating of PG which implies that parents should discuss the movie with their children, but seriously, kids hear far worse from their friends.

I think I'll "smurfin'" curse in smurf-ese for the rest of the week.  It's "smurfin'" hilarious! 

Not Okay!

I realize that the WTC cross display is very controversial and I know people are pissed off that American Atheists are suing for its removal (or equal standing for all beliefs and those with no beliefs), but what happened recently on Fox News' facebook page has got my panties in a twist.

Atheists are receiving death threats via facebook comments!!!  This is not okay!  Why do people in this country think that encouraging this kind of hate and discrimination is acceptable? 

I say that the lawyers from American Atheists should sue these bible-thumpin' jebus freaks for "terroristic threatening"!!!

Read more about the death threats here.

Geez!!! What a thing to wake up to.   I need coffee.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Red State

Kevin Smith has a new movie that will debut in September and it's bound to piss a lot of people off.  I've always enjoyed Smith's movies, so I'll definitely be going to the premier.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


If you're in need of an awwwwwwwww moment.  =)

"The Pygmy Marmoset or Dwarf Monkey is one of the smallest primates and ties with the Slender Loris for smallest monkey. The Dwarf Monkey averages 14 to 16 cm in length (15 to 20 cm including its tail) and weighs 4.2 to 4.9 oz. Native to the rainforest canopies of Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, the Dwarf Monkey often snacks on gummy tree sap.

Source: AP Photo/Froso Zoo"

Brand New Academic Journal

Trinity College and the Non-religion and Secularity Research Network have collaborated to create the new journal called Secularism and Nonreligion.  They are now seeking article submissions; here's what they are looking for:

Secularism and Nonreligion is an interdisciplinary journal published with the aim of advancing research on various aspects of 'the secular.' The journal is interested in contributions from primarily social scientific disciplines, including: psychology, sociology, political science, women's studies, economics, geography, demography, anthropology, public health, and religious studies. Contributions from history, neuroscience, computer science, biology, philosophy, and medicine will also be considered. Articles published in the journal focus on the secular at one of three levels: the micro or individual level, the meso or institutional level, or the macro or national and international levels. Articles explore all aspects of what it means to be secular at any of the above levels, what the lives of nonreligious indivduals are like, and the interactions between secularity and other aspects of the world. Articles also explore the ideology and philosophy of the secular or secularism.

They are hoping to begin publishing in January.  If anything else, it should prove interesting.

Do Atheists Meditate?

Whist listening to the 23rd episode of the ArdentAtheist, Suzanne Whang asked the question, “do atheists meditate?”  Well, sure, why not?  

When you think of meditation, you might imagine New Age spiritual (Deepak Chopra) silliness.  And, although, that silliness is where I was introduced to meditation, it doesn't mean that it has to continue to exist with that stigma attached.

Meditation has been recognized for years, by many in the medical community, as an effective means of relieving stress of all kinds.  The practice entails the use of breathing techniques, conscious muscle relaxation and (the hardest part) the act of trying to clear the mind.  Through regular practice, those who meditate have been shown to have a marked reduction in anxiety and pain (I've had the same personal success), although the mechanisms were little understood.  That's changing now.

Why They Don't Believe

We've all heard the reasons why some of the world's greatest thinkers don't believe in god(s), now they are compiled succinctly in the New Statesman.  Definitely worth reading.
Victor Stenger
Particle physicist
I not only do not believe in God, I am almost 100 per cent certain the God of Abraham worshipped by Jews, Christians and Muslims does not exist. This God supposedly plays such an important role in the universe that there should be evidence he exists. There is nothing in the realm of human knowledge that requires anything supernatural, anything beyond matter, to describe our observations.
Furthermore, religion is immoral. It is bad for individuals and bad for society.
Read article here --->  "Faith No More"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cross @ WTC? Faux News Wants To Know

There is currently a poll at Fox News that asks:

Does a World Trade Center Cross belong at the site of the 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan, or does the site transcend religion?
As the poll currently stands,
10% say "No.  The 9/11 victims were of many faiths, and a Christian symbol seems inappropriate."
  7% say "Maybe.  Perhaps they should consider symbols representing the religions of all 9/11 victims."
82% say "Yes. This is a ridiculous lawsuit. The cross should be returned to its proper place."
  1% say "Other." (whatever that means)

Tell them your opinion here.

PS you can vote as many times as you want; just hit the refresh button.

My, What Big Eyes You Have

I thought this was pretty interesting.  But then again I'm kinda nerdy and have a propensity for finding the cranium, and it's contents, fascinating.
A correlation between latitude and eye size (and consequently, cranium size) has been observed in other species, but a recent study has found the same correlation in humans.

Small Victories

Yeah!!!    Sorry that's all I've got.  Haven't had my coffee yet.  =)
Federal Judge Tosses Suit Opposing Obama Funding of Stem Cell Research

A lawsuit that had threatened to end the Obama administration's funding of embryonic stem cell research was dismissed Wednesday, allowing the U.S. to continue supporting a search for cures to deadly diseases over protests that the work relies on destroyed human embryos.
Story continues...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Same Ole' Argument

Once again, I come upon an article suggesting that, because the universe and the planet we live on is filled with wondrously beautiful and complex objects, that this enables us to “know” that there is a god. 

Vasko Kohlmayer states, “there is really no such a thing as an atheist or an agnostic. If you think of yourself as such, you are self-deceived. Deep down you know that God exists. We all do.”

Kohlmayer claims to have once been an atheist, and although he doesn’t mention his current faith specifically, he is very clearly a Christian.  He claims to have “experienced vivid flashes of intuition of God.  [He] had moments when [he] clearly felt – [he] knew – that there must be a God who created the universe and all the wonder [he] saw around [him].”  How does he “know” this you might ask?

Stop Labeling Children!

Here's another poll that doesn't dig very deep, but that's beside the point. 
Religious solidarity trumps atheist scepticism, poll suggests  
People of different faiths are likely to support each other's issues more than people of no faith, a new survey suggests.
Researchers at the University of Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit found that Christian young people were more likely to support Muslims' right to wear the headscarf or burkha than atheists, for instance.
The survey of 10,000 British 13- to 15-year-olds found 79% of practising Christians believed Muslims would be allowed to wear the headscarf in school, compared to 60% of non-religious young people.
Asked whether the same rule should apply to the burkha, a full body covering, both figures dropped slightly but practising Christians were still significantly more supportive, with 63% backing the right to wear it compared to 51% of non-believers.
Just 18% of non-believers said they were in favour of Muslim schools, compared to 29% of practising Christians.
First of all, the idea that delusion "trumps" skepticism is a very silly title for the article. 

Secondly, these are 13-15 year-olds!  When I was that age, I didn't know where I stood on issues, and if I did, I didn't know why.  I have changed my mind soooooo many times, after being presented with good reasons to do so, that I'm not the same person I was at that age. 

This is another example of the labeling of children with their parent's beliefs (religious or not).  To echo Professor Richard Dawkins, There is no such thing as a muslim child or a christian child!  Stop the labeling of children!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Biblical Ruins Revealed?

I am continually amused by Fox, only because of the way they present their stories.  Here's the headline:
"Archaeologists Uncover Ruins of Biblical City Shekem in War-Torn Palestine"
Makes you think that a brand new site has been discovered, but you'd be wrong.  This site has been worked since 1913 and will be open to the public in 2012. 

Why am I talking about it?  Well, this is the scenario that I envision.
The local preacher/priest scans the Fox website, sees the headline, doesn't actually read it (who has time for that?), writes a serman that includes stories of Abraham and his son Jacob (who have Biblical ties to the town of Shekem), deepens the hold he has on his flock with some of the usual rhetoric and telling them that this is "more brand-new evidence" that the Bible is fact. 

John Mark Reynolds = Douche who doesn't have a clue

The Question?  "Should it matter whether or not a politician believes in God?" 
The Answer from John Mark Reynolds, a Professor of Philosophy (Reynolds reply is poorly written; below is a snippet of his answer; he took a while to get to the point).
Should a sensible person vote for an atheist? That seems a difficult question since an atheist denies, despite the evidence, the existence of the most important part of reality: God. The Christian, however, is wise enough to know that a mistake in one area does not necessitate mistakes in other areas. Humans are capable of compartmentalizing their errors. It is not good to be wrong, but it need not be fatal. 
Which evidence is that?  And what's with the "sensible person" line?  Is he suggesting that only those who believe as he does are sensible?

Is Barney A Creationist Propaganda Tool?

Lauren from Skepchick recently commented on an article that claimed "that any sort of media that depicts humans alongside dinosaurs is supporting the creationist cause.  Namely, the Flinstones, and Barney the Dinosaur."  She tends to disagree, and so do I.

Lauren asks, "What do you think? Harmless fun with fun dinosaur characters? Ironed out in the wash with other childhood misunderstandings? Or creating confusion to help Creationists?"

I tend toward the second option.  Children are sponges and believe in all sorts of silly nonsense (the tooth fairy, Santa, etc) that they hear from their parents and friends.  We all grow out of this sort of thing. 

Barney did scare the hell out of me.  When this ugly purple dino was popular, I was pregnant with my son and working part time at a daycare center.  When the daycare staff became tired of the kids, being kids, they would pop in a Barney tape and all the kids would magically sit in a semi-circle around the little television.  All would become quiet very quickly and the little faces, almost drooling from hypnosis, became slack and blank.

I was so horrified at the ability of mass media and product marketing to brainwash the little ones that I vowed never to let my son watch that show.  Unfortunately, it didn't take long for another product to take Barney's place.  *Remembering the Pokemon years*  lol

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hasa Diga Eebowai!!!

When I first heard this musical score, I nearly wet myself.  The beat is catchy and you'll find yourself whistling the tune for the rest of the day.  It comes to us from the creators of  "South Park" and is just one song from the smash hit, broadway musical, "The Book of Mormon".  I soooo wish I could find the money to take the trip to NYC just to watch it myself in person.   Anyway, enjoy!

Greetings and Salutations!
My fellow atheists, agnostics, skeptics, freethinkers, etc., allow me to introduce myself.  I am a 34 year old college freshman who has lived, until recently, a socially isolated life.  I've recently discovered facebook, and it's amazing!  Can't believe I refused to join a social networking site for so long. lol

I grew up in a hodgepodge of cities and towns, but the main portion of my childhood was spent in Las Vegas, NV.  My younger sister and I were raised by our single mother, and although she followed no particular religious faith, we always knew she believed in god (in one form or another).  We grew up with access to the Bible and the Book of Mormon and were encouraged to find our own path.  For that Mom, I thank you.

I was always a good student in my younger years; I was the anti-social, awkward, shy kid always tucked into a corner with her nose buried in some book or another (guess I still am).  My one and only child was born when I was quite young, so I put my educational career on hold.  During the last 16 years I've devoured a great many books and studied the religions of the world.

Because I thought I had to believe in some form of religion, I tried a couple.  First, there was my Southern Baptist experience when I was still in high school.  At that time, I lived in a tiny town of 500 people in central Oklahoma and was in the same class as the preacher's daughter.  They seemed like nice folks (at first), so when I was invited to join their services I jumped at the chance to learn more.  What I encountered was a thin public facade, lies, pettiness and hypocrisy.  The relationship ended badly.

After that, I decided not to rush into anything.  I was 22 before I stumbled upon Wicca and really latched on.  I delved deeply into "the craft", but after a few years (simultaneously researching comparative religions) I realized that all religions were the same.  They were brainwashing techniques; an escape from reality into a "comforting" fantasy.  This led me from theism and fostered an interest in the psychological mechanisms behind faith. 

But it wasn't until I was in my thirties that I realized that I was an atheist (I live in the bible belt after all, and atheists have a bad name).  Richard Dawkins', "The God Delusion", is what opened my eyes and I haven't looked back since. 

While I haven't been very involved in the atheist/skeptic/freethinker movement, I do try to keep up to date by reading my favorite bloggers, through facebook updates, and through a variety of podcasts.  I have been having a hard time this summer (I didn't take summer courses) and have been bored out of my mind, so I decided to see if I could give blogging a try.  Although, when school starts up again this fall, my free time will probably be non-existent. 

Anyway, that's a little about me and I hope I don't disappoint.