Archive for May, 2008

I HAS POEMAGE!

Poemage… now there’s a word.

Thank you to Com at Darkened Face of Heaven.

Elles is Splendid, this I know
Because her blog told me so
She rants and raves
Darwin roles in his grave
She bites with words like Van Gogh.

Elles is Splendid, this I know
For Dawkins himself did tell us so
She’s got a vendetta
Against societa
And flattens ignunts like soft dough.

Elles is Splendid, this I know
She disregards the status quo
She’s got a way
To make you stay
So don’t waste your time, just go!

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Ignunt Fool of the Week

“Freemasons, scientists, same thing…”

Masonic-Conspiracy-Man

“The Van Allen Belt is so powerful that anything that tries to get through it will be fried to crispy bacon.”

Magnetosphere-Conspiracy-Man

“That’s why the moon landings never happened!”

Moon-Landing-Conspiracy-Man

“The only thing that is strange that could come into this Earth would be the Nephelim and Satan!”

Satanic-Conspiracy-Man

“This machine is capable of a very very powerful blast of electro-magnetic power into the Van Allen Belt creating a Stargate…”

Stargate-Conspiracy-Man

Do I have many ignunt fools this week? Nope. Just one.

This weeks ignunt fool of the week is…

Gorilla199

(via Phil, no I’m not creative enough to find YouTube videos on my own)

He believes that the Large Hadron Collider is being built so that we can punch a hole in the Van Allen Belts so that we can be invaded by people from the planet Nibiru.

Damn, there are times when I’m embarrassed to be a Stargate fan (the TV show, not the conspiracy).

Other Internet Wonders

For those of you who came over from Bad Astronomy and never left, I hope that you’ve made yourselves comfortable on my blog. We should have fun. Maybe we can organize a Spanish Inquistion tea party!

Alright, that was an inside joke I made with my History teacher. I don’t expect anyone to get it.

But anyway, to prevent an uneven distribution of pseudo-Internet-fame, I am plugging a few websites which I find are also wonderful to look at.

Homo economicus is a good source of political analysis and has a wonderful sense of humour, though it often causes great pains in my sides. His most recent post has open letters between Rabbi Shmuley and Dawkins. It’s well worth reading through. It’s another one of those things that he does that makes my sides hurt so much.

Anybody who thinks that I think I know everything just because I’m a teenager should see how much Rachael, a contributor to the blog Imbrickle, frightens me with how much she knows about neurology. And she’s sending me a fossil for knitting her a Slytherin scarf! Cool!

If you want to make me aware of the existence of theistic evolutionists, that’s all well and good, but I already know of their existence. If you’re looking for an ex-young-earth-creationist-theistic-evolutionist blogger, here’s one. If you’re an avid reader of AiG who’s going to go over there just to say that he’s a false Christian, don’t. He’s a friend of mine, and he has enough of those trolls already.

ChickenGirl often has unique news, and is a wonderful read.

If you’re interested in following the weird, and often disturbing actions of the cult of Scientology, The Frame Problem is an excellent resource.

Math is fascinating. If you disagree, go over to Intrinsically Knotted. There’s also writings on atheism and good stuff.

And there’s… Reed.

What, that Elles girl? I think that she’s a total twatbitchcuntwhorestreisand. If she were of legal age, I’d say fuck her!

You know I love you, Elles. You’re like that annoying little sister that I have to accept as a family member although I secretly wish that mum had gotten an abortion.

Yup. He’s always that interesting… almost always… mmmm… kind of.

Evolved and Rational has the most interesting trolls. She has fascinating content too.

And finally, The Flying Trilobite and The Darkened Face of Heaven have a skill which I only possess on the piano. Art. The Darkened Face of Heaven has more poetry. Either way, they’re better than me.

High School Freethinkers, Come Out!

Imagine you’re reading your feeds, when you see a blog post about you. I’ve recently been seeing blog posts about me pop up all over the place, most recently from BadAstronomy.

From what I can tell, it’s mostly because I’m a teenage freethinker. Now, I am quite flattered and all, and I can understand why people find this such a remarkable phenomenon, but I know that I’m not the only one out there. Right?

I don’t hear crickets… oh. There they are now.

Just kidding. I know you’re out there. Maybe you run a blog just like me. Maybe you’re not outspoken because of anti-intellectual peer pressure. So… I’m ripping off of the Out Campaign and making a “Scarlet F” because I thought that that would be amusing.

Made by NaonTiotami, who obviously has far more skills than I do.

Now, if you are a high school freethinker/skeptic/atheist/intellectual/all-around-cool-person (or know of one), I want to know about you. Leave a comment here, or send me an e-mail. If you have a blog or website, I’d be happy to give you linkage. I’m thinking of maybe doing a special section in my blog with links to high school freethinkers or something so that we can exchange ideas with each other, help each other out, be friends, have fun, etc.

In the meantime, check out the Center for Inquiry Campus Outreach site.

Phil Plait is Wrong!

I didn’t mean it, Phil. I admire you and all but…

While poking around the intertoobs a few days ago, I found a remarkable blog by a young woman. She volunteers at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature, an excellent place where you can learn all about reality (and where “my” black hole show was created).

Sadly, this young woman also sees creationists giving tours and lying about said reality. Her blog post on this subject is truly worth reading. It would be considered well-written and thoughtful by anyone.

So imagine my surprise when I found out, coincidentally just now, that she’s only 14.

Fourteen! Amazing. I foresee a very bright future ahead of this young lady.

Actually, I’m not 14. I just turned 15 in March. Sorry for the confusion. Just had to fix that error.

You’re still awesome, Phil!

UFOs and Intelligent Design

Today I got done with my final exams for my college classes, was hanging around, when I heard that MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) was doing some sort of lecture on campus. I figured, why not? Maybe they had some evidence that would shake my view of the world… Eh… maybe not. At the very least, I should be open minded, right?

So I went. It was a lecture by a Native American named Rainbow Eagle.

Before I continue, I feel I need to make the following disclaimer, because I’ll essentially be calling the man an ignunt fool.

Rainbow Eagle, you have a great personality. You are a very nice person. Very friendly. Humble. And you have a really awesome name. I wish I’d been named something like… Rainbow Jelly Fish… or… Sparkling Eagle.

So, we saw a video of some guy speaking in Spanish (with English voice-overs) about how apparently their belief (which has allegedly been verified by science) is that humans were planted here some 12,000 years ago by aliens. That’s 6,000 more years than the young earth creationists think we’ve been here. Not too bad.

And then, the guy in the video started talking about… wait for it… wait for it…

Quantum Mechanics!

What a surprise. And you know those words that New Age gurus use so much when talking about quantum mechanics? Vibration, frequency, energy? Yup. All those words were there.

See, we can only experience certain frequencies, but some people can experience other frequencies, and therefore see into parallel universes.

…!

When the video ended, I asked “is our species the only species to have been ‘planted’ here?” Seems like a good question to ask. Why would only humans be planted?

He was very confused by the question. He asked me “do you mean, are we the only specie to have been planted here?”

…!

This takes both scientific and grammatical ignorance. He didn’t really have an answer for that, anyway.

And it moved on…

He said that there were four races originally planted here. Not only that, but these original races were different colours. Native Americans used to be red. Blacks used to be blue. Asians used to be green. And whites used to be… transparent. That’s right. Transparent.

No. I have no idea how he knows this.

Rainbow Eagle presented us with three theories of the origin of humans.

  1. Aliens put us here to mine gold for them, until we rebelled. So, they genetically programmed us with loyalty to them so that we’d think of them as gods.
  2. Aliens came and helped humans develop technology, so we worshiped them because we thought that that was a very nice thing to do.
  3. Evolution.

I have no idea how he came up with 1 and 2, but he said that number 3 was right out. Well what do you expect? His understanding of evolution was that it is “Man-to-ape. Somehow an ape stood up, lost its hair, got more brainpower, or whatever all that technical stuff is.” No, we shared a common ancestor with the apes. That common ancestor may have been very ape-like. He’s completely leaving out mutation and natural selection in this over-simplified “explanation”.

“Now we know what the problem with evolution is.”

Some woman in the room piped up, “missing link!”

Here I was thinking I was just in a room full of UFO enthusiasts. When did I end up in a room full of cdesign proponentsists?

Missing links. A perfectly valid argument… if used before the 1920s.

I raised my hand again. I’m pretty sure I was starting to annoy the people in the room because I was talking about (gasp!) actual science!

“What about Homo erectus, Australopithicus afarensis, Homo neanderthalensis?”

“Well, those show that there was an evolutionary trail leading up to us, but then you suddenly have fully formed humans out of nowhere!”

…!

“Why do we share 99% of our genome with the chimps?”

No answer.

After this lecture, he told me that he would try to fit it all together to fit his theories. This is part of the scientific method. When new evidence arises, you see if you can modify your theories to fit it. If not, you have to accept that your theory, no matter how fond you are of it, is useless and it’s back to the drawing board.

But something tells me that he’s just going to cling to it. I mean, what’s more attractive than having your ancestors come from the stars?

How about this…

Way, way, way back when, a self-replicating molecule formed. And just because certain configurations of self-replicating molecules were better at making more copies of themselves than others, selection pressure was applied to it to create a remarkable diversity of wonderful life. Among these lifeforms are humans like you, and me, who were able to write poetry, music, make art. But even better, we are able to think and create science to accurately understand how we came to be.

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

Charles Robert Darwin

Purposefully left title-less.

Alright, alright… I wasn’t thinking at all when I wrote a post and titled it Creationists Are Pure Evil.” I have since renamed it to My Thoughts on Creationism. Why? One too many people, this time, George Paul Davis III, have missed the point of the post because of the title. Please read the post (and not by title only) before reading the rest so that this all makes more sense.

Angry? No. Amused? A little. However, it’s not the creationists who are amusing — it’s people who get so angry over this stuff. I think it’s funny because the anger seems baseless and programmed rather than genuine.

The first thing a person should do upon feeling “angry” about this is to ask him/herself why they feel that way.

Are you angry because the children do not get to choose what they are taught in their system of education? If that is the case, then I return that question back to you. Do your children choose the curriculum they are given in their own system of education? I was never asked about the curriculum given to me as a child.

I was given several doses of misinformation during my education. In public school, I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America as he was trying to prove that the Earth was round. The idea that Christopher Columbus would have had to prove the shape of the Earth to anyone in his time is, of course, nothing more than romantic fancy presented to children in elementary school as a fact (at least, it was taught as a fact in my day — Second Grade/1986). I was also given a set story about things like the Revolutionary War only to grow up and discover that different countries often have very different histories that are used to explain single events (i.e., the British explanation of the Revolutionary War and the American “victory” is quite different). Few people are “angry” over these bits of misinformation, so why is misinformation about dinosaurs so aggravating?

My guess, then, would be that people are not actually angry about the fact that these children do not get to choose whether or not they are given facts as education. Other than that, I don’t really see what exists in this situation that would conjure “anger.”

The worst that will happen to these kids is that they will grow up having been given false information about the origin of species. They’ll grow up thinking that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that men rode dinosaurs, and that lions are meant to eat grass. Big deal. Since when is being wrong such a tragedy? Who here has never lost an argument? These kids will face bigger issues as they grow up – this crap will be the least of their worries.

Even in making that statement, I am overlooking not only my personal experiences with this subject matter, but the confession of the museum scientist in the clip. He was raised to think as a Creationist, yet he does not. I was similarly raised, and I don’t follow the assumptions made by “Creation Science,” either. These kids will have the ability to choose what they believe when they’re older and are exposed to more materials.

Why, then, would this situation create so much “anger?” Religion. Religion has become a hot-topic for people. There is a kind of Retro-Inquisition going on, right now. Religion makes certain people angry – even when they aren’t directly affected by it.

It’s true that I don’t really expect much from the human animal and think that most of these kids will not become enlightened by science as they mature into adults. Rather, I think they will simply adhere to the easiest option – to stick to what one already “knows.”

Easy options are amongst the human being’s favorite type. It’s easy to accept information without proper contemplation, so people do it. For instance, your anger over this particular subject suggests that you blame Creation, an abstract concept created by HUMANS, for certain evils in the world. That’s just naïve.

Religion, and Creation through it, is just a story. It isn’t evil, it isn’t good, it isn’t anything without a human being’s manipulation to create, change or control it. In other words, “religion doesn’t kill people — people do.” You can’t be angry that these children are being given Creation as education without being angry at Creation as a concept. It doesn’t make sense to be angry at abstract concepts, but it does make sense to be angry at people who use them to do evil. What evil is being done here? Some kids are being made wrong. Is that really evil? They won’t grow up to be archeologists. It’s hard to find work as an archeologist, anyway. Thinking that the Flintstones is a documentary won’t prevent these kids from accomplishing great things. You can think that the Grand Canyon was made in a weekend and still be a successful and talented medical doctor – I’ve seen it.

If you are angry at Creation and Religion – or so it seems — because they can potentially cause evil, then you must also be angry at the concept of home-schooling for making this kind of an education possible. Further, you should be angry at the concept that individuals are allowed to make decisions for their own children, because it enables concepts like home-schooling which in-turn enables insane curriculums wherein children are taught Creation as a fact. If you are angry at these concepts then you must also be angry at an innumerable number of abstract concepts in order to make any logical sense as a human being.

Religion is not evil, it’s just silly. People are evil. Teaching kids that snakes can talk is not evil. A person who uses faith in Religion to manipulate children into sexual situations is evil. A person who uses faith in Religion to manipulate people into committing mass murder/suicide is evil. A person who uses faith in Religion to manipulate people into giving him/her free money is just a jerk. A person who uses faith in Religion to manipulate movies stars into believing that they are possessed by alien ghosts so they will give him/her lots of free money, I must begrudgingly admit, is kind of talented.

You’re not angry. You’re bored.

Thanks

Ah… “The first thing a person should do upon feeling “angry” about this is to ask him/herself why they feel that way.” For those of you that read the post, you will notice that the entire post was explaining why I felt angry.

No, the point of the post was not that I think that creationism/creationists are evil. I get annoyed with because it distorts the truth. For those of you who read it by title only, I will tell you what the content of the post actually was.

I talked about how much I love science. I talked about how passionate I am about what is true. That is why it broke my heart so much to see it distorted. That is why it made me so very upset. I’m sorry that you can’t understand that I’m not bored, but that I’m passionate.

Even if you can not understand that passion, do you believe that people have a right to know the truth? Do we not despise totalitarian governments that control information, thus brain-washing the people? Why doesn’t this apply to children who’s parents control the information they are fed?

But, yes. A lot of fault falls upon me because I wasn’t thinking when I chose the post title. If I learned anything from The Selfish Gene it was that people pay little attention to content and more to titles. Is this because of laziness, or genuine mistakes? I can understand how titles will make people pre-disposed to read things that aren’t really there. Perhaps it is my fault that people did not understand the post if they actually did read it.