Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Evolution and atheism

On an episode of Another Goddamned Podcast last year, The Chaplain (from An Apostate's Chapel) informed us all that she was highly motivated to become an atheist due to evolution. At that time, I admitted that my own reading of evolutionary materials back in the early 70's was a contributing factor in my atheism.

In recent years there has been a rush to assure the religious - "no, no, evolution has nothing to do with belief or disbelief. You can accept evolution and still believe in god."

Well, yeah... you can, but it certainly puts nails in the coffin for those who were chest deep in religious literalism. And once you let go and start getting all metaphoric with your god, you end up asking, "what's the point of this"?

Lately, some atheists are attacking the old paradigm and it's pissing off scientific atheists who want to "get along" with the theists. Here is something from Jerry Coyne's latest post on his blog:

And although evolution doesn’t lead straight to atheism for everybody, we ALL know that many people have lost their faith after studying evolutionary biology. And there are good reasons for this. It is simply disingenuous, in my opinion, to pretend that this isn’t true. I get emails from people every day telling me how they lost their faith after studying evolution (and it doesn’t bother them). What a breath of fresh air it would be to have somebody admit this hidden truth!

READ the whole post for inside info on "the war".

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Worth Watching" heads up

More on "the Hobbit", this time on the PBS series "Nova" this Tuesday, April 29. This has been the most interesting evolutionary controversy to follow in a long time and if it turns out badly its going to give Creationists more ammo a la Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man. The most recent things I've read have turned the tide back in favor of it being a new species of hominid that lived concurrently with both Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis, and actually survived up until about 11,000 years ago (far after the last of the Neanderthals). Supposedly Nova will explore the latest science. We'll see...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Contradicting Evo (or, really, Ancient Atheist)

I posted my first shot at a YouTube video and received largely positive feedback on it. Today another blogger (xxxThePeachxxx) posted a video that was a very effective rebuttal of much of what I said. It is something from the Non Prophets radio show.

As I commented there, let it not be said that I can't admit to being wrong and, as one so disdainful of religion, I should have thought it out at little more. Damn, I hate being wrong.

Still, a good portion of my thoughts still stand. I do think it was primarily mental illness and I'm sure we have to reduce the stigma of such.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Treasure Island

Ex queried in the previous comments section, having noted it in my "Currently Reading" on the sidebar, as to what had inspired me to read Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

My father died in 1960 and left me, among other things, a great many books. Among them were 4 collections of 10 volumes each by Stevenson, Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling and Charles Dickens. The years have passed, some have been read, many not. I was looking it over the other day and thought, "Damn me, I've never read Treasure Island". So I picked it up, started reading and was immediately mesmerized. I don't see how anybody would fail to enjoy it but, understand this, as a wee lad I was enchanted by any tales of high seas and great adventure. It was an abysmal failure on my part not to have read it back in the day. That said, there are aspects of it that I was able to enjoy more now than I would have back then.

Those of us who take great pleasure in literature should definitely work a classic in to our schedule from time to time. I finished Treasure Island and moved right on to some Dickens that I missed out on - David Copperfield. Fortunately, I never even saw any cinematic version of it, so it will be entirely new to me (unlike Treasure Island). Hell, I've never even seen his magic...

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I uploaded a video on YouTube for the first time. Find out what I outed myself on! On the right side of the video, in the information box, you can find the videos that I was responding to if interested.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jazzy Atheism

If you're down in the dumps, as I have been, this might help pull you out of it. If you're not, it should be an additional bright spot in your day. If it doesn't serve either purpose for you, well, you could pray about it - or meditate.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

France gets it right - AGAIN

What a piss-off to British and American nationalists. Those damn French! Not only do they seem to be constantly opposing us but on virtually every issue, they are correct and hold the moral high-ground.

At the current G20 Conference on the world economic meltdown, French President Nicholas Sarkozy is in tight alliance with German chancellor Angela Merker in demanding much more of President Obama and PM Brown than either is willing to concede. What is it they are being so obstinate about? Oh, just a little matter of regulating the world financial behemoth. Yeah, the same sorts of things Barack Obama talked up a good game about, during the election process. It's very, very early in the presidency, but anyone who had hoped Obama would actually lead the way on issues like this or prosecuting war crimes (torture) - just admit he won't be such a leader. He's leaving that to the Europeans - specifically France, Spain and Germany.

France and Germany are demanding concrete agreements on financial regulations; agreements that could conceivably bring regulators inside of U.S. borders when huge banking interests or the financial markets seem to be breaking the law. "Without new regulation there will be no confidence. It's a major non-negotiable objective" , Sarkozy said. Merkel added, "We do not want results that have no impact in practice."

Obama is trying to steer clear of this kind of talk, while pushing - you guessed it - stimulus! Now, I'm not passing judgment one way or another on whether the stimulus plans might have some beneficial effects. From what I can tell, France did not go to the G20 to oppose them. They probably won't agree to contribute much to any stimulus plan because their home countries social safety nets are so much stronger than here (another areas where they are right, and moral) that they don't see the need. But they are demanding much more. They want to get to the heart of the issue, while "stimulus" just addresses the symptoms.

“The decisions need to be taken now, today and tomorrow. This has nothing to do with ego. This has nothing to do with temper tantrums. When it comes to historic moments, you can’t circumvent them.” Hey, maybe there is indeed a great, young leader in the world! Viva la France!