Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Source of Human Morality Debate with Matt Dillahunty

          Many people I know are fans of Matt Dillahunty and the shows that he appears on, namely the television show The Atheist Experience, and their internet radio show The Non Prophets (both of which are available on iTunes in podcast forms). Well most of us who are familiar with Matt Dillahunty have been awaiting the internet release of his recent debate, which took place at the University of Maryland. They began uploading the video segments to youtube the other day, and they have finally posted the last one today, so I'll compile them here for all of you to see.
          I thought Matt handled himself quite well, even though it seemed that his opponent, Father Hans Jacobse, developed Nazi tourettes someway through the debate! Well, I guess that's enough of me talking about it. Let the debate speak for itself....

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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Latest Mr. Deity

          I haven't posted in TWO MONTHS, wow! I'm sorry to have just stopped like that, but life got in the way and now I'm trying to get back to it. And to start off, here is the latest Mr. Deity episode, and it is a good one:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Darwin Day!

          As many of you probably are aware, today, February 12th, is Charles Darwin's birthday. This was 201 years ago, and it's almost 151 years since the publication of his theory in On The Origin of Species. Since then, with all the mountains of evidence we have today, of which has become the basis of all modern biology and modern medicine, much of which would not be possible if it were not for our understanding of the process of evolution by adaptation through natural selection. And there is so much more that we have learned since Darwin's time. Not only have we made numerous discoveries that have added up to mountains of evidence that proves Darwin's theory was right, but we have filled in the gaps in what Darwin didn't know, such Mendell's discoveries of heritability and since Watson & Crick discovered DNA which led to modern genetics. Darwin did not know anything about genetics in his time, it hadn't been discovered yet. And Darwin's ideas, which led to the modern scientific theory of evolution as we know it today, not only reveal to us how amazing and beautiful our biological history is concerning how we got here, but has made possible so much of what modern medicine can provide us with today which has allowed human beings to now live longer on average than human beings have lived ever before in history!
          Darwin's ideas were some of the most important discoveries in scientific history, and therefore I agree that he is a man deserving of remembrance. This is especially true considering that now, over 150 years since his book was published, there are still huge numbers of history deniers here in America and around the world who are basically denying history and clinging to their fundamentalistic world views like children clapping their hands over their ears and wailing "does not! does not! does not!". This leads to so many children being denied a good education in science and the reality of the world around us and the history of our existence.
          There is more I would like to say on this, but I have to get to class, and then work after that. I will however leave you with a couple of good videos.....The first one is Richard Dawkins speaking about Darwin's Universal Impact, the second is Michael Shermer speaking on "Why Darwin Matters, and the third one is President Barack Obama, this time last year, speaking about the importance of science and Darwin at the end. Enjoy......

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Busy Week, And the New Mr. Deity Episode

          My apologies for the lack of posting the last few days. I've been pretty busy with work and school, and this week I have at least two exams that I need time to prepare for (between work, classes, etc). So, postings may be a bit slow for a couple more days. I will however, do my best to post at least something once a day. I have come across some funny stuff, I just haven't had the time to post.
          That being said, I appreciate everyone who is subscribed and still enjoys reading my little blog. Now I'll leave you with the new episode of Mr. Deity. Enjoy...

          Oh, and here is a funny video that I watched the other day, it's the story of Noah's Ark, put together by The Thinking Atheist. And you should also check out some of the other videos on his YouTube Channel, good stuff :-) Now I am off to the little bit of sleep that I still have time for before my behavioral neuroscience class class in the morning (I love that class, by the way. Very interesting.)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A First-Person Account of the Scientologists Shenanigans in Haiti

          I have to go to class asap, but I thought I'd leave this here for you to read in amusement (amusement desperately needed after the anger my last blog post caused me to feel). It's a first-person witness account of someone who was with the kooky Scientologists who went to Haiti, to get in the way of other people and organizations who were there to offer actual help and aid. Click here for the article....

The Power of Prayer

          There is not a lot that really upsets me in so much a way that it makes me nauseous and angry to think about it, but this type of story is one of those things that do. I'm speaking of an article from, that I got a link to from a post on the Swift Blog, on the JREF website. The article was concerning the trial of Jeff and Marci Beagley, who are facing charges for the Negligent death of their 16 year old son, Neil. Neil died in June of 2008 with complications that arose from a urinary tract blockage that doctors are saying could have been easily treated.
          The Beagley's are followers of Christ Church, Oregon City, a fundamentalist church who teaches the literal interpretation of scripture, which includes denying medical treatments, and instead turning to prayer and faith healing. And Neil's parents just allowed him to die from a commonly treatable ailment, without ever seeking medical attention. As Alison Smith stated in her Swift Blog post concerning this case:
"Neil Beagley didn't die in a hospital. He didn't die surrounded by doctors who were stumped regarding his next stage of treatment. Sixteen-year-old Neil Beagley didn't die peacefully with an IV in his arm pumping in morphine to lessen what must have been excruciating pain. He died in his grandmother's bed, without having received any medical treatment of any kind. Doctors say that Neil's illness was treatable right up until the day he died."
          Furthermore, this is not the first time this family has been responsible for this type of negligent death of a child! Their grandchild, 15-month-old Ava Worthington (the daughter of their daughter, Raylene Worthington) died in March 2008 as well from an easily treatable combination of pneumonia and a blood infection. It is amazing that the family learned nothing from this first death, only 3 months earlier. And, the worst part about Ava Worlington's case, is that her father (Carl Worthington) spent less than two months in jail for the death of his daughter!
          Now, the Beagley's have been found guilty and sentenced to 16 to 18 months in prison. This, in my opinion, is far to small of a sentence for two parents who let their child die in excruciating pain, with no medical attention, "as his body filled with urine".
          And this is something that we hear about all the time, like the case of Estelle Walker, convicted earlier this month for starving her four children, and telling them that "God would provide". As the article (linked above) stated: " At one point, they said, they went 11 days without food. By July of that year, when a neighbor called police, an 8-year-old daughter was down to 34 pounds". Furthermore, it pains me to say that I know that I could probably find many more recent cases like this with a quick ten minute google search. It puts tears in my eyes right now just thinking of all of the children that have been practically tortured, many times to death, by parents who refused to get their children medical treatment for commonly treatable ailments. All this because they think that there is some magic man in the sky who will wiggle his ears or something and make all the bad stuff go away. I mean, are you kidding me?? What the F%#K is going through these people's heads as they watch their children die?!?!? Oh yeah, God will provide, God will provide, God will provide. Yeah, well, I could only say one thing to those type of people...."If there was some chance that I am wrong, and your god does exist, then he doesn't give a shit! Now stop reaching to the sky, like some kind of schizophrenic person talking to a lightbulb, and start dealing with reality."
          All I know is that these religious zealots allowed their children to die painful deaths while they just watched and hoped that an imaginary magic man in the sky would make it all go away, when they could have helped their child at any time by getting him medical attention. These types of people don't deserve to have children, and they should be locked up for far longer than the few months that they get sentenced to.
          And they say that religion doesn't hurt anybody................

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

LOL, Teach Both Sides!

          This is spoof, but I can't say how much it reminds me of so many of our popular news media (especially one, that will remain nameless, but let's just say that it rhymes with "Box", lol). And I'm sure that anyone who watches this who promotes this "teach the controversy" crap about teaching non-science (a.k.a. history denial) in the science classroom as an alternative to the Theory of Evolution, would watch this and be completely blind as to how closely it portrays their arguments. However, it is really funny, and fits what goes on far too often to a T.....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ha Ha Ha, Snake Oil Salesman Get's Laughed Off the Stage

          I came across this wonderfully funny video via a tweet by Richard Saunders of The Skeptic Zone Podcast. This is hilarious, especially funny to watch in the wake of the 10:23 protests. I hate to see "snake oil salesman" preying on uninformed, suffering people just to make a buck, and was thoroughly entertained to see this, lol.....

(it is my understanding that this was originally passed on by Chris, and the JREF)

Monday, February 1, 2010

After the 10:23 Overdose, Homeopaths Publicly Admit it's Just Water

          Looks like the 10:23 protests which took place all over the UK and a couple places in America payed off a bit already. The New Zealand Council of Homeopaths have now openly admitted that their products do not contain any "material substances". People pay huge amounts of money for these homeopathic remedies which are sold in many drug stores right next to real medicine and most people don't know that it is just water. Not only is this fraud, as well as a huge wasting of people's money, but it endangers sick people who take these useless homeopathic remedies instead of real medicine.
          Hopefully this will be the start of a movement that will bring into the public's view the scope of the fraud being committed by the people endangering the lives of people by pushing this worthless crap. I definitely urge you to take your business to somewhere more ethical if you discover your local pharmacy selling homeopathic products.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Justice Served for George Tiller's Murderer

          I'm happy to say that Scott Roeder, the man who shot and killed Dr. George Tiller was convicted for murder. Apparently the DA is seeking to give him life, with a "hard 50", which means he'll have to serve a minimum of 50 years before he is eligible for parole. The man is 51 now, so that is a life sentence, period, and I couldn't agree more. As Martin said on The Atheist Experience Blog, "Never fear, Scott. Once they're done with you in there, at least you won't need an abortion."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I kinda like this song.....

          I just came across this song, "The God Delusion", by Markella. I like what she's saying....

          Click on the "read more" link below this line to see the lyrics....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

School Bans....Dictionary?!?!?!?!? Seriously?!?!?!?!?

          It's bad enough that I sometimes hear about crazy right wingers trying to get some school some school libraries to ban some works of literature that they don't agree with. That makes me angry enough that they are literally cutting children off from learning in an academic environment, which is the last place where censorship should take place in literature. However, I am still suprised to hear a school banning the Webster's Collegiate Dictionary from their shelves! I mean, seriously? A dictionary?
          But yes, Oak Meadows  Elementary School in California has removed the dictionaries from their shelves after a parent has complained about one term in the dictionary! I mean, this kind of thing coming from an academic institution really makes me shake my head in embarrassment to have these kinds of educational institutions in my country. Seriously, if they banned every book that had one word that some crazy parent didn't like, they wouldn't have many books at all......yes, it burns :-(

Slip and Slide, LOL

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Mr. Deity and the Promised Land" - New Mr. Deity Episode out...

          I love the Mr. Deity show. I hope that one of these days he gets a deal for a full TV series. The show is hilarious. Well, here is the newest episode, "Mr. Deity and the Promised Land", enjoy:

          Oh, and if you've never watched the show before, it's halfway through it's third season now, and you should go to the Mr. Deity website and watch the back episodes. Here are a couple of my favorites on youtube: Mr. Deity and the Skeptic (with Michael Shermer), Mr. Deity and the Evil, Mr. Deity and the Identity Crisis, & Mr. Deity and the Science Advisor (with PZ Meyers!) just to name a few. There are many more to check out on the website too. Enjoy :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Podcast, D.J. Grothe Interviews James Randi in First Episode

          D.J. Grothe, who is now the President of the JREF, has now recorded the first episode of his new podcast called "For Good Reason", where he interviews James Randi. According to the shows webpage:
"James Randi discusses his health and cancer treatment pseudoscience. He talks about JREF’s future, including expansion of the Million Dollar Challenge, a renewed focus on the skeptic grassroots, and international expansion of The Amaz!ng Meetings. He also reacts to the arrest of bomb dowsing huckster James McCormick on fraud charges, stressing the real-world implications of the skeptical outlook.…"
          I haven't listened to the show yet, as I just saw the announcement on twitter. However, I loved D.J. Grothe's "Point of Inquiry" podcast, and (although I was sad to see he won't be hosting it anymore since he left the Center For Inquiry to take his new position as President of the JREF) I'm sure I will enjoy his new show, which I will be listening to tonight :-) Furthermore, I can honestly say that I've never heard an interview with James Randi that I didn't enjoy. He's definitely one of my heros.

          So, that being said, you should all go to their webpage and listen to the show, or if you use iTunes, like I do, search for "For Good Reason" on iTunes and subscribe/download the show there. I'm certainly looking forward to listening to it this evening.

Guide to Creationist Arguments

          Ha ha ha, this diagram sums up almost every creationist argument I hear, lol.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People Finally Available!

          If you are a skeptic like myself then you probably remember hearing about "9 Lesons and Carols for Godless People", which took place in the UK this last December. Well, someone just posted it on YouTube in the last few days. Also, thanks to The Skeptic magazine for tweeting about it with the godless link for everyone. Anyways, I have been waiting for a month for someone to post it online so that I could check it out. Furthermore, as expected, it made my night...I thoroughly enjoyed it.The full lineup consisted of: Robin Ince, Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox, Mark Steel, Richard Herring, Shappi Khorsandi, Ben Goldacre, Simon Singh, Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden, Robyn Hitchcock, Jim Bob and Baba Brinkman.

          Robin Ince was funny and awesome throughout being funny and skeptical and intellectual all at once, Brian Cox was inspiring while discussing the immensity of the known universe, Mark Steel was funny, Robyn Hitchcock sung an inspirational piece about skepticism, faith, and silly beliefs, Simon Singh (who I was definitely glad to hear) was great talking about the silliness of bible code, Shappi Khorsandi was delightful, Baba Brinkman performed a great piece of scientific hip-hop, Richard Dawkins was inspiring as always, Jim Bob sung an incredibly moving piece of skeptical music (which I enjoyed immensely), Ben Goldacre gave a wonderful fast paced presentation of skepticism, Richard Herring told entertaining stories of youthful imaginativeness, and finally , Barry Crier and Ronnie Golden sung a closing song of PEACE AND QUIET, LOL :-) And without further delay, here is 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People 2009...I hope you enjoy this godless entertainment as much as I did......

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I hope you enjoyed these godless bits of science, skepticism, and all around good entertainment, and I can't wait till next years production :-)

Atheists Helping the Homeless Just Had Their Biggest Giveaway Yet!

          As I have said before, not only do I value humanist ideals and strongly believe in doing community service and helping others, but I think that it is important for atheists to openly do community service while proudly saying that we are atheists because it counteracts the idea that atheists are immoral and don't care about others. I know it sounds silly, but I am always taken back by the number of people who seem to think that atheists don't care about others, which is not the case. In fact, most atheists I know care quite a bit about helping others.
          Well, that being said, I was glad to hear that the Atheists Helping The Homeless group here in nearby Austin, Texas just had it's biggest giveaway to date. I'm happy to see that they are doing well and growing and I am also pleased to see more groups like them springing up all over the country. I would urge you to look around and help your local group, as well as checking out Atheists Helping The Homeless and maybe send a few dollars their way if you can afford it. The biggest thing groups like this need are donations, no matter how small, every little bit helps. However, if you really can't afford to help financially then simply help by spreading the word to others about AHH and groups like them.
          Anyways, here is a video of their latest giveaway, showing a bit of what they are doing...I also encourage you to check out their website (linked above) and help out if you agree with what they are doing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jim McCormick, the Guy who Sold the Dousing Rod "Bomb Detection Devise" was finally arrested and James Randi has a Few Words to Say About it.

          This is a story that pissed me off quite a bit when I first heard about it. Basically what happened is the Iraq Military had been buying and outfitting their soldiers (who were manning checkpoints and searching for bombs passing through the checkpoints) with bomb detectors that were essentially dousing rods! Phil Plait, the then president of the JREF, wrote an article about it back in November of last year. Now,the main reason that this upset me so much is the fact that arming the soldiers with bomb detectors that don't detect anything will probably lead to the deaths of many innocent people.
          Well, long story short, James McCormic is the guy running the company who sold $85,000,000 worth of these useless devices to the Iraqi Military, and probably others. Now it is being reported by the BBC and others that McCormick has been arrested and charged with fraud. Furthermore, I hope that they throw the book at him, because his useless devices have probably already let many bombs through checkpoints that have killed and injured innocent people, many of which would have probably been stopped with real bomb detectors, bomb sniffing dogs, etc. Well, I just read about McCormick's arrest on the JREF website (linked to above) and James Randi (who is awesome by the way) had a few of his own words to say on the matter...and I couldn't agree more.......

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something Interesting to Look Forward to at the End of this Year

          The First Annual Freethought Film Festival will be held in Florida in November this year! I'm excited to hear this. I love independent films and film festivals, and it would be awesome to see a film festival focusing on films with freethinking, atheist, skeptical, and secular humanist values. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out. Here is a quote from their webpage:

     "FFFF planning for the First Annual International Freethought Film Festival event in Tampa, Florida. (target date November 2010) is well underway! The mission of the FFFF is to promote reason, critical thinking and freedom of inquiry through the medium of film. With support from freethinkers who have viewpoints that are agnostic, atheist, humanist, secular humanist, rationalist, skeptic, of "Bright" mind, non-religious or otherwise non-traditional; we can produce a focused means through which freethought ideas can be presented to the community. Such focus and collaboration on a single project for freethinkers is what will make this a success."
          So, keep this in mind any of you who may be in Florida that time of year, and if you know anyone who is involved in making films of this type then certainly give them a heads up for a submission. And, for those of us who probably can't afford to be in Florida this November, I hope that they have ways for us to acquire the films to watch ourselves. Also, they have a facebook page, so click here to visit their page, become a fan, and keep up with what's going on with this.

Sometimes it Hurts to Be Reminded How Stupid Many of Our Leaders Are....

          Every so often (actually quite often, to be honest, lol) I see something involving individuals that participate in the leading of our nation that is an unfortunate reminder of how stupid and insane many of our elected leaders really are. I saw this video the other day, I think it happened on December 17th, and it was just another of it's kind that made me say "what the @%$# ?" Here, have a look for yourself...

          I mean, come on! I know that there are incredibly stupid, ignorant, and deluded people out there, but to be reminded that people like this who are in control of the laws, rules, and policies that govern my life. But then again, it's why there are so many laws, rules, and policies that I disagree with. However, it is particularly disturbing when I see them sincerely arm-waving and praying to their god that he ends healthcare reform (apparently it must be a sin to help everyone get access to healthcare). I guess that they must just want poor people to stay sick and desperate so that they will keep praying to their imaginary friend and putting what little money they may have into these bastards hands in exchange for a bit more false hope. Furthermore, what saddens me more than seeing our nations leaders doing something so ignorant and counterproductive, is the fact that they have enough deluded supporters in our population to keep them in office. It's not surprising, just sad to be reminded of.
          One final note....things like this should definitely serve as reminders of how important it is that skeptical, empirically rational, reason based thinking individuals do what they can do to participate in politics and getting our voices heard, as well as supporting members of the skeptical and atheist community in getting elected to public office. We cave constant reminders of how hard it is to change things, but it takes time. We are however, among the fastest growing groups in America, and our influence is growing. So, my fellow skeptics, atheists, and all members of the reason based community, keep it up. I know we've got a long ways to go, however we have already come very far and there are no limits to where the future can take us.