Idiotic Comment of the Day Award!

December 9, 2008

We’ve been getting a lot of comments lately on many different posts.  I haven’t taken the time to blog for too long.  The wealth of comments, both positive and negative, tell me that it is time to start blogging again.

I enjoy both positive and negative comments.  Positive comments help us all to feel like we’re appreciated and part of the larger atheist community.  Negative comments are great for sparking debate and thought.  But sometimes, negative comments are just plain idiotic.  Here’s one of those:

The comment is a response to the post, “Sorry Children of Texas, You’re Fucked,” from August 8, 2007.  The post is about the appointing of a evangelical creationist to head the Texas BOE.  Tammy Polio says:

I attended a private school in Michigan, received a much better education-oh yes and even learned Darwins theory. Not teaching science as you see it is not the problem with Texas schools you morons. The fact that they do not teach, and spend the whole year teaching kids how to pass tests instead of teaching them to read. I doubt you are a parent but a stupid liberal who never even learned words from the dictionary based on your f-ing language. I have a child in school who has been assisted on assessment tests so our school keeps their exemplary status.I now have to be in the room with him to make sure he is not assisted. The whole system is corrupt and pathetic. Do you really think it is more important that your theories are taught over just the basics? If you have a problem-move. In case you weren’t taught in your public school we still pledge to one country under God. You sound angry. If you want to know the truth God can reveal it. I would know that,because no matter what we are taught it cannot be just because someone is speaking it in front of a class. WE have to embrace because we beleive it to be true.

Let’s look at this one part at a time!

I attended a private school in Michigan, received a much better education-oh yes and even learned Darwins theory.

Okay – good start, Tammy.  Let’s first congratulate you on attending a private school and receiving a much better education.  Better than what?  To what are you referring?  And of course you learned Darwin’s Theory if you attended any sort of accredited school because guess what?  His theories are the basis and springboard for 98% of the study of biology.

Not teaching science as you see it is not the problem with Texas schools you morons. The fact that they do not teach, and spend the whole year teaching kids how to pass tests instead of teaching them to read.

First off, this isn’t about teaching “science as I see it.”  This is about teaching science as 95-99.9% of scientists see it. There simply isn’t any sort of widespread support for Creationism in the scientific community.  This isn’t about idealogy.  It’s about facts and evidence.  Science is, by nature, non-subjective.

Regarding your point here about teaching how to pass tests – we agree on this fact.  George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” act forces teachers to “teach to the test” as opposed to giving them a valuable real world education.  Most of my friends who are teachers despise this, but it is unfortunately their job now.

I doubt you are a parent but a stupid liberal who never even learned words from the dictionary based on your f-ing language.

Apparently Tammy Polio would like to personally attack me here.  That’s fine.  She’s right about two things in this sentence – I’m not a parent and I’m a liberal.  My 3.5 GPA and graduation with honors isn’t important for understanding how the education system should work in this country.  It doesn’t mean much.  And Tammy would probably discredit it, since I went to a state university and not some fancy private school.  My “f-ing laguange” is a demonstration of emotion.  Sticks and stones, Tammy.

I have a child in school who has been assisted on assessment tests so our school keeps their exemplary status.I now have to be in the room with him to make sure he is not assisted. The whole system is corrupt and pathetic.

Again – I agree.  This is horrible.

Do you really think it is more important that your theories are taught over just the basics?

These theories ARE the basics.  What about the theory of gravity?  Should that not be taught either?  Please read earlier posts on the different semantic understandings of the word “theory.”  The theory of evolution is overwhelmingly supported by scientists worldwide and it is essential that it be taught as “the basics.”

This is where the comment gets kind of psycho-crazy-like with rants in a couple different directions.

If you have a problem-move.

That’s absurd.  I believe in the America that the founding fathers envisioned — one in which religion was not forced on its citizens.  Maybe a brief jog down memory lane will bring up a history lesson from your private school.  You might remember that one of the things that brought us to this country was the desire to live in a country without the establishment of an oppressive religion.  This country is about freedom.  Freedom is NOT “If you have a problem-move.”  That’s the opposite of freedom.

In case you weren’t taught in your public school we still pledge to one country under God.

We did pledge to “one country under God” in schools, but this is unconstitutional.  This type of thing never bothered me though, because most children don’t have enough life experience and smarts to make up their minds about religion yet.  The indoctrination of these children with the idea that this is a “christian country” is wrong, however.  Study the history of the Pledge of Allegiance, Tammy.  Again, I’ve already covered this in earlier posts.

You sound angry. If you want to know the truth God can reveal it.

I was actually starting to think the negative comments on my blog are sounding much angrier than anything I have to say.  And this is an atheist blog, we don’t believe in God here.

I would know that,because no matter what we are taught it cannot be just because someone is speaking it in front of a class. WE have to embrace because we beleive it to be true.

Someone is not just “speaking it in front of a class” to make it true.  The theory of evolution isn’t something someone just made up, Tammy.  It’s the accepted and agreed upon theory for the origin of species according to more than 95% of scientists worldwide.  Why would we give equal time in schools to a theory of Creationism that only a tiny percentage of scientists believe?  Imagine this – imagine no one went to school for 2-3 generations.  After this, when everyone decided to start going to school again, half the population believed that the moon was made of swiss cheese.  Maybe there was support in the holy book for it, I don’t know.  99.9% of scientists dispute it – but since half the population believes it – we now have to teach that the moon “might be” made of swiss cheese.  Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

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The Creation Explained?

March 25, 2008

Ana Elena Azpurua at Newsweek wrote an intriguing article about what may ultimately lead to the understanding of how the universe was created.

The biggest experiment in particle physics, the Large Hadron Collider, starts this summer in Switzerland. The goal is to find signs of an elusive particle called the Higgs boson—also known as the “God particle” because it might ultimately lead to a grand theory of the universe.

As we come closer to developing an ultimate theory of the universe, how will this impact religion?
As science explains more and more, there is less and less need for religious explanations. Originally, in the history of human beings, everything was mysterious. Fire, rain, birth, death, all seemed to require the action of some kind of divine being. As time has passed, we have explained more and more in a purely naturalistic way. This doesn’t contradict religion, but it does takes away one of the original motivations for religion.

Read the story here.

Here’s a video about the “God Particle.”


My Answer to A Letter

February 4, 2008

Recently, there have been some comments on my post “Satirical Web Site Gets Taken Seriously.” The latest one directed me to a site called “Talk Jesus”, in particular a post by an administrator named Chad who posted a letter to all atheists who deny God. At first I thought it was weird for someone to deliver a letter to atheists via a Christian web site (not to mention one that is extremely difficult to register for), but then I realized that they had people to distribute the letter via leaving comments on atheist blogs. The letter is in the form of “Do you think it is a coincidence that…” and I will address each “coincidence” separately.

Here’s my personal letter to all atheists who deny GOD.

Dear Atheist,

Do you think its a coincidence that…

of billions of stars and planets in the many galaxies, only earth has life, and abundance of it?

the sun is 400 times the size of the earth’s moon, 400 times further away from earth than the moon, yet they look both proportionally the same size in our sky?

the sun lights the days nicely, while the moon glimmers in the night sweetly and the clouds bring forth rain to water our crops, which bring forth food in your stomach?

First of all, how do you know that this is the only planet with the necessary conditions for life? I suggest that you realize exactly how big the Universe is (and similarly, how small we are) by watching the Pale Blue Dot video. Even if we are the only one with life as we know it, we’re starting with the end result and then asking “Isn’t it a coincidence?” Of course it may seem that way to you since you’re living on the Earth you ask about.

Second – regarding the size of the Moon and the Sun. For that we look to a little thing called science (see what I did there? I linked to it, assuming you’re unfamiliar). The reason they look the same has to do with something called Angular Size. Here’s an experiment with angular size you can do at home.

Third – You wouldn’t be asking these questions if the conditions on the Earth weren’t perfect for life. Our life has been constructed to be compatible with the Earth. If the sun was less present, for instance, and temperatures were high enough to sustain life, then we would be different – our eyes would be different and our skin would be different. Look at some of the underwater creatures that live in a light-depraved environment and see what I’m talking about. What I’m saying is you’re constructing your argument based on the fact that “it’s a coincidence” that conditions are perfect for life. It’s not a coincidence at all: our life is the result of the perfect conditions. And that, my friend, is what they call “biology.” You might not know about biology like a thief might not know about a police officer.

Do you think its a coincidence that…

birds in the air whistle sweet songs and dogs show unconditional love?

your body heals naturally when you cut yourself, or you become sick and it goes away?

humans have intangible senses, called emotions where we feel love, hate, anger, sadness, happiness, shock, confused, hurt, healed, and so forth?

I do not think its coincidence that birds sing. Like humans, birds use sound to communicate. They sing to greet each other, to define their territories, to let their parents know they’re hungry, to attract a mate, to warn each other of approaching danger and to tell each other about good feeding spots. And dogs show unconditional love because (SPOILER ALERT) they don’t have a very good short term memory.

Regarding healing – Firstly, lets not lump all healing together in the same breath. If you cut your skin, it heals because skin cells are constantly growing and exfoliating. You cannot see them doing it, so you probably forget that its happening. I think its funny that people are amazed that skin heals but aren’t amazed that hair grows back. It’s the same process. The body is creating more of you as parts of you fall off. Our outer structure is contstantly dying, falling off and regrowing. That’s a fact of life. But what about amputees? That doesn’t grow back? What’s your biblical explanation for that?

Regarding humans – Emotions are not a sense. There are only 5 senses (can you name them all?). Emotion is a function of the human brain and is influenced by psychological and sociological factors. We have a complex brain with the capacity for long term and short term memory, so we are able to evaluate the processes that our brain creates like anger or suffering. You act as if love, pain, anger, etc. are these mysterious conditions that have never been studied. They have been studied in great detail but you would not know that just like a thief wouldn’t know the location of a policeman.

Do you think its a coincidence that…

you were born from a lady’s womb and you will die a death, without choice of either?

the complexity of dna is so mind boggling, that scientists worldwide now have gone from ‘no god’ to claiming a “Divine Creator”? (read)

your body’s anatomy is complex, so fine and so articulate that you wonder how this “accident” came to be?

Again, you’re arguing if I think it’s coincidence that life works the way it does. I’m not sure how to answer a question like “do you think it’s coincidence that you’re going to die without a choice?” Might as well ask me “do you think it’s coincidence that the sky is blue and you didn’t ask it to be blue?”

Regarding the complexity of DNA, the structure as we know it has really only been known since the late 1950’s and if you’re talking about the human genome project, it is mapped out to about 92% completion. By “scientists worldwide” I hope you realize you’re talking about a very small percentage of all scientists.

The human body and it’s structure is no accident. Atheism does not claim that the origin of man or the Earth was an “accident.” It is indeed complex. But that does not point to any sort of creator.

Do you think its a coincidence that…

there are endless variety of delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts, wheats to make infinite delicious recipes to satisfy our hunger?

there are thousands and thousands of exotic amazing land animals and thousands more amazing sea creatures?

you have eyes so you can see, ears so you can hear, heart so you can feel, mind so you can think?

It is not a coincidence that there are endless variety of fruits. If the same fruits grew everywhere, it would point more toward a creator. But they don’t. Because different growing conditions based on levels of available sun, minerals in the soil, and weather conditions create different opportunities and variety of crops. Our hunger would be satisfied if we ate nothing but one type of food all the time, which I’m sure is what people had to do before they started traveling and trading across nations. You think your Hershey bar is a coincidence. Before the necessary beans were shipped to an area nearby, you wouldn’t have even had one.

Again with the complexity of biology. It is amazing and beautiful to look at the thousands of variations of creatures on this Earth. They have all developed due to the same conditions we have.

The last point here goes back to the circular reasoning that I keep talking about. You ask if its coincidence that we have eyes so we can see? You would never ask this question if we didn’t have eyes to begin with. And if we had a lobster claw for crushing nuts because nuts made us run, you would ask me if that was coincidence too.

Do you think its a coincidence that…

there are thousands of recovered artifacts proving the validity of Scripture, the Holy Bible itself? (example)

those who have faith in Jesus Christ witness miracles, worldwide? (read)

almost all Old Testament prophecies have been already fulfilled and more continue being fulfilled? (read)

There are. Because the Bible was indeed written a long time ago and has been believed for 2,000 years. Many of the stories within the Bible are very similar if not identical to stories found in other (some even older) religions. Folklore has been passed down for centuries. In the eternal game of telephone, stories are passed down while names, places, and details get varied slightly from person to person.

While you claim a supernatural power has allowed people to witness miracles, never has an actual “miracle” been proven. If you can prove a miracle caused by the supernatural, this man will give you a lot of money.

The reason you think the old testament prophecies are fullfilled is the same reason people believe Sylvia Brown is really psychic. Half of the things she says are so vague that they could apply to anybody. When she finally gets specific, she’s wrong a lot of the time. Of course these “misses” are overshadowed by the few “hits.” Many people claim Nostradamus prophetic. But his writings are so vague and dependent upon translation and interpretation that anyone could make them appear to predict anything.

Do you think its a coincidence that…

a farmer plants the seeds, yet the farmer does not make the seed grow and the farmer never initially created the seed?

that fruits and vegetables have seeds so that they produce more fruits and vegetables?

your body needs vitamins and nutrients found in GOD’s natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, wheat?

Okay, this one is laughable. You’re asking if I think its a coincidence that a farmer grows crops from the seed that he bought at the store? Do I also think its coincidence that I didn’t create my car, yet it runs when I turn the key? I think that maybe you skipped some biology classes in school. Frankly I’m concerned with the educational system in this country and whether or not they’re still teaching biology as a subject.

We are a product of our environment. You’re looking at the environment and saying “well don’t you think its STRANGE that this is all suited perfectly for us?” NO. We are the way we are BECAUSE of the environment we live in.

Do you think its a coincidence that…

you just happened to be here on a Christian site reading this letter? (read)

Hahahaha. No. But as I stated earlier, I do think it’s odd that you posted your letter to atheists on a Christian forum. Try posting it at http://www.atheistnetwork.com/index.php. But if you’ve got people to spread the little “letter” around to atheist blogs, then no it’s not a coincidence. It’s called a hyperlink.

And finally – the dumbest quote ever being used to try to make a point.

Quote:
“The atheist cannot find God for the same reasons a thief cannot find a police officer.”

An atheist is not looking for God – and a thief does not seek out a police officer. I suppose this is what this is MEANT to mean. But what if I want it to mean that an atheist does not need God and a thief does not need a police officer. And why is it assumed a thief cannot find a police officer? Isn’t that what happened every time a thief got caught? Maybe you’re arguing that the police officer FOUND the thief. In that case, did he put the thief in prison through supernatural miracles? Or through physically grabbing him and pushing him into the back of a police car? I could go on, but I think you get my point.

********
UPDATE
********

I wanted to go over to the JesusTalk forum and let Administrator Chad know that I answered his letter. I urge you all to do the same, but in registering, I encountered their forum rules which I thought were HILARIOUS. Here they are:

Talk Jesus is mainly about two things. Praising Jesus Christ and sharing Truth with others. It is not for speaking against Scripture simply because you are in disbelief. If you disagree with the Word of GOD, please leave unless you came to learn the Truth as told by GOD in Scripture. If you are an unbeliever, it is likely you’ve been led here by GOD so you may learn about His love for you found in Jesus Christ alone.

/:* Talk Jesus is Not a Debate Forum *:\

Talk Jesus: Ten Commandments

1. Treat others with respect when posting
2. No profanity or slangs
3. No links unless you meet 2 requirements
– 50 posts minimum in the forums
– request Chad’s permission via private message
4. No False teaching of Scripture
5. Do not gossip
6. Cite author(s) when copying/pasting articles
7. Provide Scripture when making a biblical point
8. Share Talk Jesus with everyone you love
9. Abide by forum posting etiquettes
10. No soliciting

Tip: Pray before you post

Rules for Signatures & Avatars

* No custom avatars. Choose from our selection.
* No images *WTF? No images in your avatar? haha
* No advertisements
* No links
* Maximum 2 lines (approx. 50 characters max per line)
* Maximum 2 colors *God will smite you if you combine 3 colors

Rules for Posting in Forums

* Proper Editing Guideline: (click here to read)
* Max 2 colors allowed
* Do Not Post
o only smilies, no text
o one word responses
o double post
o all CAPS (considered shouting)

Infractions

You get a simple warning via private message if you break a rule. Please respect the community. Its a privilege to be here, not a right. You get banned immediately if you curse, insult someone else, preach anything outside of Scripture purposely.

Chat Room & Shoutbox Etiquette

* no flooding
* no insulting
* no gossiping
* no prayer interruption
* no solicitation

Photo Album Rules

* Clean family friendly photos
* Comments must be polite and Christ mannered
* No provocative photos allowed

Warning

I take harassment seriously. If you are here to cause trouble, remember every action is literally recorded and logged. Do not assume you can hide behind “proxies” or get away with wrongdoings. GOD is watching your every move. Be wise, respectful and humble yourself. You know your intentions and I know mine.

Jesus Christ! It’s an Internet forum. Lighten the hell up!


Real Time: Religion in Politics

January 20, 2008

South Carolina Students’ Opinions on Evolution vs. Creation Education

January 15, 2008

The Charlotte Observer polled South Carolina students on whether they think Evolution should be taught in school. Here are some of the opinions:

Damien McCorkle, 15, North Stanly High School, New London: Since I come from a Baptist background, of course I believe in creationism. But since evolution versus creationism is such a big deal, I think that the schools should just eliminate it from the curriculum. I know that everyone is arguing over this topic, but people cannot argue without anything to argue about. I also think that if they want to keep this in the curriculum they should teach both sides (since neither one is proven) and let students decide the on the one they believe.

carnival

Andrew Mills, 15, North Stanly High School, New London: In my opinion, evolution should be taught in science class and creationism should be taught in English class. Evolution is a scientific theory, so it should stay in the field of science. Science teachers teach what they have to teach and vice-versa. Creationism should stay in the field of English, because it deals with the Bible, a form of literature. Also, I believe that if you teach one of them you should teach both of them.

Brandon Blake, 16, North Stanly High School, New London: I think creation from the Bible should be taught in school instead of evolution. Evolution is the most ridiculous thing that scientist has ever thought of. If we do decide to teach both subjects in school, then we should keep them separate. Evolution could stay in science and creation goes in history since it deals with the Bible.

Julie E. Flanagan, 17, home-schooled, Charlotte: Truth needs to be taught in the classrooms of today. Evolution cannot be backed up scientifically in any sort of realm. While creation might be hard to explain it does have credible and truthful parts to it. Creation by intelligent design is the one and only truth to how the world was made. It doesn’t have to be taught straight from the Bible. But when you look at the facts and results of tests, creation by intelligent design is the only one that stands true and without any holes. Truth should be taught, therefore, I believe creationism should be taught.

Sean Keady, 10, Sandy Ridge Elementary School, Waxhaw: Choosing religion or science has always been a hard decision for me. I have chosen to treat the Torah as something to learn from. Religion should not be taught in public schools. Teachers will favor one religion over another religion or a different type over another type of the same religion. This is a concern for me because I am Jewish and the teacher might be teach a religion, not my religion. Evolution has solid evidence and it should be taught in schools. America is a diverse nation and we should not let the state indoctrinate a religion to children.

Laura Haerri, 13, Smith Academy of International Languages, Charlotte: I think civilization got started by evolution, but everybody has different beliefs. Personally I don’t think the story of creation from the Bible should be taught in science class. Evolution is the scientific version, therefore suitable for science class. The Bible’s depiction of creation is apart of a religion, therefore suitable for a religion class. It could even be taught in social studies, but in a science class there are students of all religions, and it would not be right to say that something that is against their beliefs is the right way. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion though.

Caley Scheppegrell, 13, home-schooled, Charlotte: Evolution should be taught in science class, since it is a theory supported by facts, which is what science is all about. It is only a class, and the students are not required to change their ideas according to the textbooks. They are still free to think or believe anything they would like to.

Is it me, or are the younger kids more on-the-money here?


Is the World Flat? Daytime TV Windbags Want to Know.

September 20, 2007

Recently Sherri Shephard, co-host of ABC’s The View, was asked by Whoopi Goldberg “Is the world flat?” I’m pretty sure Whoopi was asking the question rhetorically, but Shephard didn’t understand this and started to answer the question academically. “Is the world flat?” repeated Shephard, “I don’t know.” She went on to explain it’s not important if the world is flat or round because what’s important is that she feeds her kids. Man, I hope her kids don’t want to grow up to be astronauts or geologists.

The View is great because it reflects the real life stupidity of Americans and delivers it to us in a convenient hour-long package. Some of the senseless ramblings that occur on this show are beyond belief.

Sherri wouldn’t make a very good contestant on Jeopardy, as she explained the next day on the program that she got confused due to the pressure. Since she was nervous from being asked a question in public, instead of “Is the Earth round or flat?” she heard, “How many triglycerides does it take to make pluto when the robutussin comes and the earth’s sun.” Man, her hearing must get really fucked up when she’s nervous! I’ve never heard anyone on Jeopardy confuse 1st grade science with cough medicine. Roll that beautiful bean footage:

Moral of the story. Memorize this clip. The next time ANYONE backs an argument with “Oh yeah? Well on the view, so and so said such and such,” you can pretty much tell them to go walk off the edge of the Earth.


Ed Brayton Addresses Evolution Education at YearlyKos

August 17, 2007

Ed Brayton, of “Dispatches from the Culture Wars,” gave a speech at YearlyKos.


My personal favorite part was the following definition:

Virulent Ignorance: the systematic accretion in one’s mind of a collection of myths, half-truths and outright falsehoods that gives one the illusion of knowledge.