Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tim Minchin is the Coolest.

This song is called Ten Foot Cock & A Few Hundred Virgins. I think that pretty much says it all really. Tim is the bees knees by the way.

God invented wanking. More>>

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Salt Water on Mars!


A group of Phoenix Mission scientists from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor have detected the presence of salt water on the leg of the Phoenix Mars Lunar Lander. This is the first time that verified liquid water has ever been photographed outside of Earth.

How wicked awesome is this? Liquid water! More>>

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to spot a hidden religious agenda


Because New Scientist has officially lost any sort of relevance they once had, they have now stooped to ceding to the whims of creationists in their own magazine and scrapped an article by staff writer Amanda Gefter. What the hell is going on her NS? First Darwin was wrong and now this.

I thought I'd help out and post the article in it's entirety.

Gotta love the internets!

How to spot a hidden religious agenda

Amanda Gefter
New Scientist
Sat, 28 Feb 2009

As a book reviews editor at New Scientist, I often come across so-called science books which after a few pages reveal themselves to be harbouring ulterior motives. I have learned to recognise clues that the author is pushing a religious agenda. As creationists in the US continue to lose court battles over attempts to have intelligent design taught as science in federally funded schools, their strategy has been forced to... well, evolve. That means ensuring that references to pseudoscientific concepts like ID are more heavily veiled. So I thought I'd share a few tips for spotting what may be religion in science's clothing.

Red flag number one: the term "scientific materialism". "Materialism" is most often used in contrast to something else - something non-material, or supernatural. Proponents of ID frequently lament the scientific claim that humans are the product of purely material forces. At the same time, they never define how non-material forces might work. I have yet to find a definition that characterises non-materialism by what it is, rather than by what it is not.

The invocation of Cartesian dualism - where the brain and mind are viewed as two distinct entities, one material and the other immaterial - is also a red flag. And if an author describes the mind, or any biological system for that matter, as "irreducibly complex", let the alarm bells ring.

Misguided interpretations of quantum physics are a classic hallmark of pseudoscience, usually of the New Age variety, but some religious groups are now appealing to aspects of quantum weirdness to account for free will. Beware: this is nonsense.

When you come across the terms "Darwinism" or "Darwinists", take heed. True scientists rarely use these terms, and instead opt for "evolution" and "biologists", respectively. When evolution is described as a "blind, random, undirected process", be warned. While genetic mutations may be random, natural selection is not. When cells are described as "astonishingly complex molecular machines", it is generally by breathless supporters of ID who take the metaphor literally and assume that such a "machine" requires an "engineer". If an author wishes for "academic freedom", it is usually ID code for "the acceptance of creationism".

Some general sentiments are also red flags. Authors with religious motives make shameless appeals to common sense, from the staid - "There is nothing we can be more certain of than the reality of our sense of self" (James Le Fanu in Why Us?) - to the silly - "Yer granny was an ape!" (creationist blogger Denyse O'Leary). If common sense were a reliable guide, we wouldn't need science in the first place.

Religiously motivated authors also have a bad habit of linking the cultural implications of a theory to the truth-value of that theory. The ID crowd, for instance, loves to draw a line from Darwin to the Holocaust, as they did in the "documentary" film Expelled: No intelligence allowed. Even if such an absurd link were justified, it would have zero relevance to the question of whether or not the theory of evolution is correct. Similarly, when Le Fanu writes that Darwin's On the Origin of Species "articulated the desire of many scientists for an exclusively materialist explanation of natural history that would liberate it from the sticky fingers of the theological inference that the beauty and wonder of the natural world was direct evidence for 'A Designer'", his statement has no bearing on the scientific merits of evolution.

It is crucial to the public's intellectual health to know when science really is science. Those with a religious agenda will continue to disguise their true views in their effort to win supporters, so please read between the lines.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Biochemistry is Hard!


I love it when Creationists point out the fact that they have no clue how evolution actually occurs.

From a Washington post article titled The Genesis of a Debate comes this choice quote from a biochemistry major:

Near the end of the "Evolution Trail," the class showed no signs of being swayed by the polished, enthusiastic presentation of Darwin's theory. They were surprised, though, by the bronze statue of man's earliest mammalian ancestor.

"A rat?" exclaimed Amanda Runions, a 21-year-old biochemistry major, when she saw the model of a morganucodon, a rodent-like ancient mammal that curators have dubbed Grandma Morgie. "All this hype for a rat? You're expecting, like, at least an ape."

A biochemistry major? You are kidding me. Is she an alchemist?

I can't even wrap my brain around a science major spouting such a blatantly Bryan-esque display of ignorance. What in the hell do they teach you in that school?

Liberty "University" you say? That explains it I suppose.

I did some digging, and I found a description of the University's biology curriculum:

Photobucket More>>

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

James and Nazareth

I just couldn't resist putting this Randi video up. A commercial venture from a religious claim? That can't be, we all know that all factions of faith are poor and humble. More>>



I've been thinking of PZ Myers Eucharist desecration last year and I now realize that I was deeply offended by it. I think Professor Myers should be ashamed of himself, he wasted a perfectly good cracker that could have been a component in a perfectly good entree.

Have we learned nothing from stem cell harvesting?

Eucharist Irish Meat Loaf

1 1/2 lb. ground lamb
1 egg
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 sprig cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
3 tbsp. Jameson Whiskey
1/2 c. Eucharist crumbs
4 potatoes sliced, 4 peeled and halved carrots, *root vegetables (optional)
1 Can Guinness Stout

In a large bowl, mix ground lamb, egg, onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

In a second bowl, combine tomato sauce and Whiskey.

Set aside 1/4 cup of the tomato mixture to pour over the top of meatloaf; pour remainder the over the meat mixture.

Next, add Eucharist crumbs and mix thoroughly.

Knead meat mixture in a baking dish to an approx 1 inch thick rectangle.

Arrange vegetables around meatloaf.

Pour tomato mixture and Guinness over meat loaf.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serves 4 members of the Hell bound rabble.

*Important Notice*
Please do not abscond with any Eucharist wafers, this is meant for blaspehmous fun and not vandalism.

You can make your own Eucharist with the recipe linked below.

Eucharist Bread Recipe More>>

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Heathencast is coming.


The ISOH will soon have a podcast.


Prop 8 in Court


It looks like opponents to the travesty of Prop 8 are going to be able to get the California Supreme Court to look at the Constitutionality of the gay marriage ban amendment. Let's hope the outcome of this doesn't favor our hateful Mormon friends.

Reuters More>>

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Four Horseman

I think a growing number of people are embracing rationality, and shunning superstition. I may just be looking through the rose colored glasses of positive thinking, but there really seems to be real progress being made.

The internet has provided channels for those of us out there who are afraid of reprisals of violence from our religious friends and neighbors.

Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Chris Hitchens, and Sam Harris are the self styled Four Horseman of rationality and science. These educated and erudite social critics are powerful intellectual allies with which to state our case for a rational world. More>>
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