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“Gomez’s Hamburger” January 31, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Cosmology.
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The Cosmic Variance blog posted this great image of the planetary disk, “Gomez’s Hamburger.” It’s cataloged name is much cooler though: IRAS 18059-3211; GoHam. read more at the Cosmic Variance blog, and if you are active in the astrophysics or astronomy community check out, astro-ph for technical information.

GoHam

GoHam
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David Attenborough on Darwin (BBC) January 31, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Evolution.
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Logic and reason…refreshing!

Time for a paradigm shift January 29, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Satire.
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Founding Fathers bitch slap Glenn Beck January 27, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Constitution, Theism and Atheism.
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A word from our founding fathers:

Excerpted from Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia Deluxe Copyright © 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 The Learning Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

John Adams:

  •  “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there  were no religion in it.”
  • “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.  Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.” 
  • “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation.  But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?”  -letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816 
  • “I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!”   -letter to Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Paine

  • “Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.”
  • “Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies.”

  • “What is it the New Testament teaches us?  To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.”
  • “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
  • “I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church,  nor by any Church that I know of.  My own mind is my own Church.  Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.” 
  • “The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.”

James Madison:

  •  “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”  -letter to Wm. Bradford, April 1, 1774 

Thomas Jefferson:

  •  “Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched.  Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion.  Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.  – letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 10, 1787
  • “They [preachers] dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live.” 
  • “I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature.  They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.” 
  • “We discover in the gospels a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication.”
  • “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.” -Virginia Act for Religious Freedom 
  • “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law.” -letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, 1814
  • “The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words.  And the day will come, when the mystical generation [birth] of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation [birth] of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” – to John Adams, Apr. 11, 1823 

(And that was just a small selection of quotes)

Now, lets watch Mr. Magic Underwear Glenn Beck rip them a new one:

 

 

This is incredible, old Mormon doctrine cartoons:

By the way, millions of grown men and women actually believe this 19th century fairy tale

Texas is not doomed…Pt. 1 January 25, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Education.
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evotex

Once again “Intelligent Design(ID)” has failed to make it’s way into public school science curriculum. This decision makes if far more difficult for creationism to be taught in public schools. The ID proponents claim that they want academic freedom, but teaching ID has absolutely nothing to do with science.

Essentially, their argument is the logical fallacy “argument from incredulity.” Life is too complex to have just evolved, therefore there must have been a designer. This is the common fallacy made by the lay ID proponent. All of the scientific sounding ideas, such as irreducible complexity, have all been easily refuted by a consensus of the international scientific community.

Eugenie Scott is the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, and she has been at the forefront of the battles between ID and science. “There are no weaknesses of evolution,” Scott told Scientific American concerning the recent decision in Texas.

Scott sums it up in her interview with Scientific American, “I don’t know any mainstream scientists who are questioning whether evolution took place… That’s not to say we understand everything that happened in evolution or the mechanisms that caused evolutionary change. But … arguments about the details aren’t arguments about whether evolution took place. The creationists make that category error.”

Thank you Eugenie for being a torchbearer for scientific community!

Banana Man, Ray Comfort January 22, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Science.
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Pulling the plug

Pulling the plug

 

Once again, I cannot figure out whether this christian is ignorant or intentionally deceiving people.

Ray Comfort is a christian apologist and creator of some of the m0st terrible metaphors and analogies. For example, he compares the “atheist’s” evidence for the existence of everything (the big bang), to his house that would not exist without a builder. The absurdity should be clear, because he is making a claim that is counter to the facts as we know them, (we know that houses are built by people). Comfort is a logical fallacy factory, his primary fallacy is the straw man. Since Comfort has no ground to stand on when it comes to empirical evidence, he must make a caricature of his opponents arguments. Depriving his audience of actual facts and playing semantic games, are his primary ways of recruiting people to his religion. 

At the very least, Comfort needs to take some undergraduate science courses. Until then, he is doing our job for us.

This video will show you the intellect of this man:

Anti-Abortionists= logically deprived January 22, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Society and Culture.
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How can someone devote their life to a cause, and be utterly clueless about the consequences of their worldview? 

P.Z. Myers’ response to another ignorant Christian January 20, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Godlessness.
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I decided to post this entire section from a recent post by P.Z. Myers at Pharyngula, because P.Z. does not hold back and hits all the nails on the head.

Pharyngula


Gerald Warner, death cultist


“There’s probably no God” is an accurate summary of the atheist position. There’s no virtue to be found in iron-clad certainty, and it is no sign of weakness that a statement might allow for acceptance of evidence in contradiction. People like Warner, however, think that certainty is a necessity. It is unassailable certainty in their positions that allowed good Christians to march people of another religion into ovens at bayonet point; that allowed good Christians to hang widowed old women for witchcraft; that led to wars and genocide over trivial matters of theology, like the degree of god-nature in Jesus’ existence; that allows racists and homophobes to declare a significant portion of our population to be second-class citizens; that encouraged priests to appease imaginary beings by burning babies; that led to monsters cutting the living hearts out of their neighbors so that the sun might rise. Let’s leave certainty to the oleaginous evangelists, the jingoistic war mongers, and the other con artists selling us bogus solutions to imaginary problems. A little uncertainty, a little willingness to accept that deeper knowledge might change our minds, is a good thing.

But if Mr Warner really demands some kind of absolutist comment, I can oblige. I am utterly certain that no god-walloping, bible-thumping, jesus-humping, apologetics-babbling theological dingleberry has ever provided a single scrap of the kind of rational evidence for a god that would convince a rational human being of normal or better intelligence. All they have is fear and ignorance and conformity to prop up their absurdities. Better? Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite fit into a short slogan.

Invisibility cloak soon to be reality? January 18, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Engineering.
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cloak_300  Researchers at Duke University have made more advances in meta-materials. They are making great strides in the development of a practical invisibility cloak. Although, this seems like science fiction, in our lifetimes it may become a reality.

…”significant belch of methane…” January 16, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Astronomy.
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..."significant belch of methane..."

..."significant belch of methane..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This finding has been all over the news today, but many of the reporters did a lousy job explaining why this, “belch of methane” is important. 

(The link above is a great article from Scientific American.)

Information on recent oservations of methane on Mars: