Archive for September, 2008

Twittering the Rally

Assuming I don’t leave my cell phone at home I’ll be twittering the rally today. So, if you’re not already stalking me on Twitter now’s a good time to do it.

Now I have to go take care of things I should have taken care of last night but couldn’t…

Ahahahahahaha!

Expelled has put out a new press release for the DVD coming out in October…

The film’s numbers proved that freedom-loving Americans were outraged to discover that teachers and professors across the nation are teaching a theory as indisputable fact and that scientists who dissent from that theory are being silenced and ousted.

A theory? Oh noes! Well, at least we know that they don’t teach the theory of relativity, or the atomic theory of matter, or the germ theory of disease. That would just be absurd!

“Big Science in this area has lost its way,” says Stein. “Scientists are supposed to be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are. Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-science, it’s anti-American.”

And if you had any evidence you could have gotten published in a peer-reviewed journal by now. So far all I’ve heard is “this is too complicated for me to be able to explain, ergo Santa Claus God did it.” That’s not science, that’s the argument from ignorance.

Well, all the rest has been said before. I’ll still get good laughs from this stuff but Expelled died a long time ago. Besides, I have a speech in two days on the subject which will be just as uncreative as the argument against intelligent design has been said by all of us before. It’s unfortunate that I still have to repeat it for people.

Hm… now, I wonder… I can continue to poke fun at them or I can go to sleep… Hm…

Astrology and Babies

After noticing that the Hatching Eggs application on Facebook had added zodiac signs, I left a comment on the “Pisces” egg-thing saying that I was born on March 11, but despite being told that Pisces love to escape from reality I think that reality is a good place to be.

Today, when I logged in, I found this:

“I’m curious to see what her Pisces personality brings”.

I honestly don’t know what to say to that. Maybe her daughter will become a skeptical blogger-girl like me and replace me on Teen Skepchick when I get old? Or maybe she’ll grow up with a mum spouting all this stuff about how her personality is directly controlled by the stars. I think I might go cry now.

Secularism and Science Education

As seen on Meetup.com and RichardDawkins.net and now Teen Skepchick, I am now anouncing an event of epic proportions…

The Pre-Election Rally for Separation of Church and State in Denver, Colorado!

 

What: Pre-election Rally for Separation of Church and State
When: Sunday, September 28, 2008, 3:30-6 p.m.
Where: West steps of the state capitol building
Permit held by: Denver Atheists & Freethinkers (D.A.F.T.)

Goals: To provide individuals and organizations with an opportunity to speak out and show support for a wall of separation between religion and government, and against erosion of our legal rights on this front. To remind the public of some of these issues one month before the elections, at a time when I hope there will be a break in the local hubbub and distractions.

Highlight Issues:

The case where the 10th District Court ruled against Colorado’s ban on tax money going to pay tuition at colleges that discriminate on the basis of religion.

The “personhood” amendment that defines a fertilized egg as a human being, and would make some forms of birth control, in addition to abortion, murder under the law. (On our state ballot for November).

On the national level, the Faith-based Initiatives that give taxpayer money to religious charities, so that they can provide social services instead of government (secular) agencies.

Eternally recurring battles over prayer in school, school vouchers, reproductive freedom, and other issues throughout the nation.

Speakers will include:

Sean Curley (Humanist activist)

Joel Guttormsom (President of Metro State Atheists)

Groff Schroeder (President of Freethinkers of Colorado Springs)

Victor J. Stenger, PhD (College professor and renowned author)

Marvin Straus (Activist, COCORE leader, co-founder of Boulder Atheists)

And… yours truly…

ME!

Quite honestly, I’m not sure why I was invited to speak.

The first rule of public speaking is to never let your audience know that you are nervous even if you are nervous. I am going to break that rule and say that I am nervous in advance, but I still intend to deliver a clever speech, if not somewhat charmingly uncreative as the topic I’ve chosen is Intelligent Design/creationism and that has been ruthlessly debunked many times.

But still, if you come you might get to buy me an ice cream cone or something. D

Hopefully I might see some of you there!

In Which I Continue to Live in the Shadow of Others’ Fame

Some of the stats for this blog:

Sigh…

Many people have asked me for advice about blogging. Here’s the best I can think of: Name your blog “Emma Watson Richard Dawkins”. It is sure to drive traffic up. If you do this, be sure to link back to me to share the traffic love, uckles?

ATTENTION

I took schadenfreude out of something. Something unfortunate happened to somebody I didn’t like and I thought it was a good, pleasureable thing.

Then I realized that I shouldn’t take schadenfreude out of it because it would make me a hypocrite and I ceased the committing of the thoughtcrime.

Said person has a responsibility to the public to not keep secrets, but we all have the right to privacy… Of course certain people, including the person in question, would want to shred our constitution, but we still need to protect the rights of those people to keep our own rights.

But yes. I momentarily took schadenfreude out of it. I’m a hypocrite.

I was blind but now I see.

Jesus Died For Your Thoughtcrimes

I started reading a website which had been in the Google ads of a local Atheist group…

1. God Loves You!

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”

The problem is that…

2. All of us have done, said, or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.

Something dawned on me and I started re-reading it again.

2. All of us have done, said, or thought things that are wrong. This is called thoughtcrime, and our thoughtcrimes have separated us from Big Brother.

The Bible says “All have committed thoughtcrime and fall short of the glory of Big Brother.” Big Brother is perfect and holy, and our thoughtcrimes separate us from Big Brother forever. The Bible says “The wages of thoughtcrime is death.”

Go check the site for yourself. The only words I have inter-changed are thoughtcrime and sin and God and Big Brother.

You Can Stop Googling “Emma Watson Dawkins” Now

Here are the most common search engine terms for today and yesterday:

Which reminds me, Travis needs to blog more often. Hint, hint.

You know, I’ve gotten signed stuff from both those people? I wrote to Emma Watson when I was like, 8, and she sent me an autographed picture. She has way better hand-writing than me, though it’s not hard to do that.

Ahem. Seriously. The most common search engine term isn’t “Splendid Elles” but “Emma Watson Dawkins” and variations thereof? That is just so… random.

Is there some sort of conspiracy theory that Richard Dawkins and Emma Watson are trying to take over the world? Did the National Enquirer or the British version thereof report on some sort of affair between the two? Why the hell is this getting Googled so much?

I can just imagine “Watson-Dawkins Affair” popping up in my search engine terms now.

Well, to those of you who are finding this blog by searching that, for whatever reason, I welcome you to check out posts that aren’t about Emma Watson and Richard Dawkins. Here’s one about blogger, PZ Myers. Here’s one about UFO nuts. Here’s one about creationists in science museums. Oh, and here’s a story I wrote today on Teen Skepchick which I promise you is even more random than your search engine terms.

If you find those uninteresting, then carry on with your quest to dig up juicy details about Richard Dawkins and Emma Watson.

Ah, So This is How Science Should Be Taught

This is simply brilliant.

“Easterbunnyism, Fatherchristmasism or the contemporary militant Tooth Fairy jihadist movement are best seen by science teachers not as a misconception but as a world view. This is more valuable than simply banging on about ‘reality.’ Reality-based thinking is vastly overrated and certainly won’t prepare children for a career in the City or in government.”

Carry on.

PZ Myers is Made of Win

So, after the Metro-State Atheists went through much stress and annoying bereaucracy stuff involving the student government, I got to see PZ Myers give an epic speech that was made of win!

After having heard the majority of my non-science teachers pussyfoot around having to say the “E word”, it was refreshing hearing somebody say that we shouldn’t avoid talking about evolution just because the creationist “has a big rock”.

Most refreshing was hearing somebody say that science and religion are in fact competing worldviews. One relies on faith, while the other asks for evidence. Now, that doesn’t mean that people can’t be compartmentalised and use faith in one situation to make them feel warm and fuzzy on the inside and science when they end up in an emergency room, but they’re really not the same.

PZ gave a very good summary of the present state of science education in our country, loaded with all those juicy statistics and stuff. He also pointed out that a certain vice-presidential candidate is a creationist and thinks that creation should be taught along-side evolution.

He then divulged his evil plan for when he becomes Emperor of the world by showing us a clip from Expelled with him saying that he wanted religion to become like knitting. But of course, after saying that quote a bunch of knitters (including myself… er… not really… I’ve knitted a few scarves and stuff) because upset that he had vilely compared their hobby to religion so he made a new analogy (and I will paraphrase and plausibly severely misquote him here)

I want religion to become like masturbation. Something that everybody does, doesn’t talk about it that much, doesn’t affect their lives… but it feels good and it doesn’t harm anybody…

I don’t want it to become a deciding factor for president of the United States though.

He then talked about the whole cracker incident and shared a few of the e-mails he had gotten from it, and as entertaining as it was to hear him tell the tale in person, I frankly felt he spent more time on it than he needed to… and I don’t think he tied it in to the talk very well. Actually, I still have no idea how it related to science education. I loved listening to it and all but…

Sorry, PZ. You’re still made of win. Just a touch of constructive criticism…

He ended with a quote from Lawrence Krauss…

I wonder which is more important: using the contrast between science and religion to teach about science or trying to put religion in its place?

He said “why can’t we do both?” And I agree. The better a person understands the scientific method, I’ll bet the more likely they are to apply it to everything.

Education needs to be about freethought. It needs to be about teaching kids skepticism and not telling them “apply this to everything! But not your religion.” We can’t make conclusions for them, but we can give them the freedom and the tools to get to their own conclusions… if they choose to use them.

So, in conclusion, when PZ becomes emperor of the world it’s not going to be that bad of a place. If you don’t like cephalopods, though…

Anyway, still a pretty awesome talk.