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.