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Archive for the ‘Religion & Science’ Category

[Science Factism] The Evolution Of The Octopus…

Posted by Lex Fear on March 20, 2009

…Or not, as it may seem, according to Oil is Mastery:

“These are sensational fossils, extraordinarily well preserved,” says Dirk Fuchs of the Freie University Berlin, lead author of the report. But what surprised the scientists most was how similar the specimens are to modern octopus: “these things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species.” This provides important evolutionary information.

Indeed: it provides information that none has occured.

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Posted in Doublethink, Quoteyness, Religion & Science, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

[Pause for Thought] Stem Cells

Posted by Lex Fear on March 20, 2009

Just so we’re clear, everyone knows that you can collect stem cells from a placenta. right?

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Posted in Duh!, Morals & Ethics, Realpolitik, Religion & Science, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Fundamentalism] Meet The Science Extremists

Posted by Lex Fear on February 10, 2009

Religion has Osama Bin Laden*, politics has it’s fair share of Stalins and Hitlers, Atheism has Auvinen,  Sport has hooligans and Hollywood has Uwe Boll (just kidding). What about Science?

Five Mad Scientists Who Went Too Far in the Name of Science

*or is that politics?

Posted in Analogies, Morals & Ethics, Religion & Science, The Religious Wrong | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Fallacies] What If Your Premise Is Wrong?

Posted by Lex Fear on February 8, 2009

HT to Purify Your Bride for this YouTube clip:

Rather than answer the question, Dawkins makes the presumption that the young lady in question is “brought up” in a Christian home and then turns the question back on her.

I’d love to see how Dawkins addresses someone like me who was brought up without beliefs, dabbled in the occult, rejecting the faith of Jehova’s Witnesses, going from atheist to agnostic and opened myself up to whatever kind of higher power or beings were out there before becoming a Christian.

I don’t know why supposed intellectual people cheer for someone who so obviously doesn’t want to accept the possibility of being wrong.

However it appears that Dawkins has softened his stance on the existence of a higher power himself more recently, as Mattghg writes.

It seems Dawkins, though tirelessly never to admit he is wrong, considers there may be something “grander and more mysterious” than God out there after all. Of course by suggesting this we get in to all sort of ad infinitum arguments, and I’m surprised he would take it upon himself to answer the the old atheist chesnut “Who created God?”.

Maybe if Dawkins’ only personal objection to God is that the idea of ‘God’ for him is… boring.

Read Is Richard Dawkins Still Evolving? by Melanie Phillips.

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Posted in Doublespeak, Little Hitlers, Pharisees, Religion & Science, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Easy Way Out] Attenborough – Blame the Bible?

Posted by BHudson on February 2, 2009

In keeping with the usual antitheist precepts of misusing scripture and making vast generalisations, David Attenborough has blamed ‘many environmental problems, from the burning down of tropical rainforests to the extinction of species’ on the Bible.

Attenborough seems to think that all the world’s problems can be blamed on Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” In saying so, he shows an astounding inability to understand the tone of the Bible and a blind ignorance of most of it. He also notably misses our the next bit about dressing (serving) and keeping (preserving) it. Perhaps the blame should fall on, say the US government,  who have vetoed UN resolutions about nuclear testing (in the atmosphere and out), products harmful to the environment and the Israeli clear-up of an oil-slick caused by bombing. Oh, and releasing crop-destroying insects over Cuba in 1996. But never mind – why let the weight of evidence get in the way of a rant?

As Catherine Pepinster of the Tablet wrote in the Independent, he gets the sense of ‘dominion’ wrong. Like the feudal oaths of the Middle Ages, there’s more than one side to the bargain. Yes, God gives us control over the Earth. But it is done with the requirement that we are good stewards.

Bearing in mind I did this in Year 10 RS, Attenborough is making a pretty big oversight in claiming that Christians think the world is ours to destroy. See Leviticus 25:1-5 “The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.”

If God intended us to use the world unwisely and profligately, then why would he care about the death of a mere sparrow (Matthew 10:29).

At the end of the day, religion is an easy thing to blame for everything. But the bottom line is that religion doesn’t cause harm. People do.

Posted in Opinion, Quoteyness, Religion & Science | Leave a Comment »

[Abortion] Further Thoughts on Unmurder

Posted by Lex Fear on May 21, 2008

I’ve made my views on abortion clear on this blog before. I suppose I’m pro-life leaning but not solidly. One thing I have always advocated is the concept of full-term abortion. You may as well wait until the thing is born, then decide if you want to go ahead with termination. What is 12 weeks after all?

What I’d like to know is, how many of those celebrating the decision to stay at 24 weeks and the womans right to choose, bemoan the decline of intellectualism or the rise of immigration? Intellectualism and Immigration are two separate issues and I’m not trying to draw any association, but I do see two effects on the future of the UK as a result of this decision:

  • Immigration will rise, and with it particularly children of Asian and Eastern European origins. the White and Black British people will become the minority. The reason for this is the first and second generation of these people groups generally have large families and strong community ties. Whether or not this is down to religious belief, they generally don’t do abortions.
    Furthermore, we will need these immigrants to replace the aging British population which is not replenishing. If an anti-immigration government takes hold, then forget the current “credit crunch”, Britain will be destined for a permanent economic collapse.
  • Intellectualism will also be in decline (unless it can be bolstered by intelligent immigrants). It tends to be the upper-middle classes who use abortion as a contraception. The working class, however show no signs of curtailing their breeding patterns. In fact many girls look forward to the day they get to leave school and have a baby. Whether they want a baby or not, many aren’t even using condoms. I don’t hear of many teenage boys turning away the chance of a quick shag because they don’t have a rubber or consider the consequences of their actions.

Now, just as I’ve outlined my views on abortion, if you read back through my blog you will see I’m strongly pro-immigration. I’m actually pro-emigration too, I can’t wait to leave this damned country, but these are the facts of the matter. Of course, I have nothing of substance to back this up, however all anyone can do is look at history and look at trends.

For what it’s worth I really think what the should do is replace with or append to the abortion procedure sterilisation. If we are going to treat people like animals (ie. that sex is an impulse that is natural and shouldn’t be denied) then we should really look at offering the option of sterilisation and castration.

That’s right, visit secondary schools and interview 13 year olds and offer them a choice. Do you want to have unprotected sex anytime you want, or are you considering keeping yourself and raising a family. Since we’ve already successfully taught sex education by this stage, I see no reason why they would not be able to make a competent and informed decision.

Disclosure 1: I am a Christian, however I was at one stage, as a Christian, pro-abortion. What changed my mind was the testimonies, images and videos I have seen of babies surviving before 24 weeks, as well as babies embryos the same age being chopped up and pulled out of the womb in pieces. I’m in favour of women having the right to abortion, but severely curtailed to ~6 weeks, maybe less.

Disclosure 2: With regards to the health of the mother, or in cases of rape, I don’t really have an opinion. Suffice to say I think a woman choosing to go through with pregnancy in these cases is brave and sacrificial, worthy of honour.

I suggest anyone really wanting to get a view from the side of the fetus visit Abort73.com. Whilst it’s owned by a Christian ministry, the site itself is professional and does not contain any overt religious references. In fact much of the information presented can be easily presented from a secular viewpoint. From their ‘about’ page:

Loxafamosity Ministries, Inc. (LMI), the organization behind Abort73.com, believes that “secular” arguments are invaluable and even sufficient to demonstrate that abortion is an injustice of historic proportions, one which systematically destroys the most innocent and helpless members of the human race. You needn’t believe in God to oppose abortion. Anyone who cares about human rights, and understands that the right not to be killed outweighs the right not to be pregnant, cannot support abortion.

Posted in Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Religion & Science, Xenophobia | 3 Comments »

[Atheism] How To Destroy Christianity

Posted by Lex Fear on April 12, 2008

I’m pretty fed up of the same circular arguments and debates going round and round the tubes. Based on logical fallacies, false premises and rabid hate.

So listen closely I’m about to reveal the truth that Christians don’t want you to know. It’s hidden in their own book, the bible, and all you need to do is point out the evidence, one simple line, and you will end their faith. You will completely decimate it.

There is no need to mention Occam’s Razor, the 3rd law of thermodynamics, the Jesus Seminar, logic and reason, counter-arguments, semantics, OT eschatology, Witty Diatribes, Pseudoscience, the Da Vinci code, the FSM or the celestial teapot.

It was written long ago by one of the founders of Christianity, hidden in plain sight, the means to bring Christianity and belief in Jesus crashing to the ground. Simply prove this and even the most God-fearing, bible-bashing fundie will be stumped.

Here is the verse, from 1 Corinthians 15:13-16 of the New Testament, written by Paul:

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile;”

It’s that simple. If there is no resurrection of the dead, no resurrection of Jesus Christ, then their words are false and faith is futile.

If you want to rid the world of Christianity, all you have to do is prove that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead. Should be an easy task, right?

Watch the faith drain from their eyes and their expression fill with doubt… go get ’em tiger!

Posted in Apologetics, Laymans Theology, Religion & Science, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | 24 Comments »

When The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

Posted by Lex Fear on March 30, 2008

Let me ease your suffering...I suffer from problems with my sinuses which cause me to sneeze at the slightest change in atmosphere. Bright sunlight can do it, sometimes just walking into another room will set me off into a sneezing fit. I believe it may be related to asthma I developed when I was 3 but my mother refused to give me an inhaler because she had read people can become addicted. At least I don’t have trouble breathing.

I was told by a doctor that due to the type of sensitive lining I have on the inside of my nose, I can’t get the problem fixed. I’ve tried meds, I’ve tried prayer and having hands laid on me, heck I even laid hands on myself but to no avail. The only thing I’ve found on the market that works is Benadryl.

It was then I discovered a couple of years ago a user called luckbeawierdo posted his testimonial on how to cure your asthma or hayfever using hookworm.

Walking barefoot in soil contaminated with feces (the source of hookworm eggs/larvae) is the most common method of exposure. The other is inadvertent ingestion of contaminated feces. Note that the hookworm cannot proliferate in your gut, you can only increase your infestation level by coming into skin contact with larvae or ingesting contaminated feces. After skin penetration, the venous circulation carries larvae to the pulmonary bed, where they lodge in pulmonary capillaries. Within 3-5 days, the larvae break through into alveoli and travel up the ciliary escalator from the lungs into the bronchi, the trachea, and the pharynx. This often causes a violent cough such as I experienced. It woke me up, continued for about two hours and was so violent at its peak that I vomited into my mouth.

Please follow the link, it’s well worth reading the whole fascinating story, particularly if you are a sufferer like me.

Still, I think I’ll be sticking to benadryl and prayer.

Posted in Religion & Science | 2 Comments »

Unless I Saw It On TV, It Never Happened

Posted by Lex Fear on January 27, 2008

Dan Phillips of Pyromaniacs responds to a commenter, asks is Jesus made up?

"Nothing"? You say, "nothing was even really written about [Jesus] for some 40 or 50 years after his death (a date I base on the current earliest known scrap of New Testament writing.

This is simply a naked assertion. Not only does it have no supportive evidence, but it is contrary to a huge pile of evidence. The New Testament Epistles write about Jesus, and they were written as early as twenty years after Jesus’ resurrection. Luke was almost certainly written before the mid-sixties (thus within 30-35 years of that event), and he refers to earlier written accounts (Luke 1:1-4). Thus, your premise is incorrect.

Nihilism? But let’s put that aside for a moment. Have you thought this through at all? Your assumption is, "We cannot know anything about something documented 40-50 years after the event." Do you realize that no remotely credible historian alive would agree with you? Do you realize that this would lead to total historical nihilism?

Put it another way. When you read David McCullough on, say, John Adams or George Washington, or 1776, do you reject the whole as bosh because it is written more than two centuries after the events? Or when you read of the Pharaohs, or the Battle of Carchemish, do you shrug and say "Whatever" because everything is written millennia after the occurrences? Not likely. Do you realize that most historians would (metaphorically, I trust) kill to have the sorts of resources, the staggering wealth of early manuscript evidence, that the NT historian has about the life of Jesus?

I guess, if we’re going to determine historical truth by how long it was written after, then we need to start agreeing with people like David Irving and Heribert Illig. Heck, approaching history like this even screws with science, I mean if Georges Lemaitre came up with the Big Bang theory in 1927, an estimated 13.7 billion years after the even actually happened, can we not say that it was nothing… it never happened?

And what about all those police investigations that discover crimes more than 20 years old due to ‘new’ evidence. I guess there should be law made that dismisses evidence over 20 years because it’s clear that once it’s gotten old, it never happened.

I guess all that time spent studying philosophy gets in the way of science and history.

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Posted in Analogies, Apologetics, Religion & Science, Warring Memes | 2 Comments »

Terminators: Now A Reality

Posted by Lex Fear on October 21, 2007

Robot Cannon Kills 9 – Wired News

The South African National Defence Force “is probing whether a software glitch led to an antiaircraft cannon malfunction that killed nine soldiers and seriously injured 14 others during a shooting exercise on Friday.”

I hate to say I told you so, but this kind of thing is probably going to become more common with the rise of anti-personnel robots.

However, how much worse can it really get if we take weapons out of the hands of humans and place them with machines? It may just be a case of trading the cause and intent from corruption to malfunction.

Posted in Copland, Morals & Ethics, Religion & Science, Technology | Leave a Comment »