Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lack of belief?

This is another excellent video from QualiaSoup. I did disagree with him on using the term "lack of belief" to describe my position. This is what I wrote in the comments on YouTube:

"I agree with all of your points here, QS, I just don't like the use of the word "lack" in a definition of my position. If we look at how that word is used - in just about every instance of the English language, it reflects a _negative_. "lack of abiilty", "lack of judgment" "lack of grace", etc. It's seldom used as a positive. If we are healthy, for instance, we don't attribute it to "lack of a disease".

"Would it not be better to say we "reject the arguments made on behalf of god beliefs"?"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Good Gay News Keeps Rolling In

Prop 8 struck down, A federal judge in CA ruled against Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and now this ruling, in many ways the most powerful of them all.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Evolutionary theory in light of genetics

"My grandpappy wasn't a chimp"!

Well, err... how true. Every evolutionary scientist in any field would agree 100%. One assumes that the person stating such must know it by this point in the game. To not know would be a case of willful ignorance at best and an outright lying attempt to create a straw man at worst.

What is true about our relationship with chimps is that of all the other animals on the planet, we share the closest common ancestor with the chimpanzee. Somewhere between 5 and 10 million years ago there was an ape or ape-like mammal which was ancestral to both modern chimps and modern humans.

We've known this (or something very close to it - some argued it was gorillas) for over 100 years. Every other piece of evolutionary datum supported this conclusion. But then along came post Crick/Watson genetics. Within the past quarter century or so we have had enormous new batches of datum to work with. This info could have overturned the earlier findings. Instead, it nailed the case shut.

By the same science we use to show whose blood is at a crime scene or, more pertinent, who the daddy is, we have been able to show which species is the closest genetic family member to H. sapiens. And it's the chimps and bonobos. By the very same process of showing who are siblings and who is parent, we can see that chimps and bonobos are, at the species level, our nearest living relatives in the animal kingdom.

Unless a creationist is willing to go on record as not believing that DNA can prove paternity, then they must admit that we are not only related to chimps, but that we are closer relatives of theirs than we are with gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, baboons, spider monkeys - all progressively more distant relatives - just as all earlier evolutionary science had predicted.

It's one thing to claim some unproven god belief. It's quite another to deny scientific facts, which resolutely disprove any claim that ones particular god created various animal species independently of each other. I like to think such people are ignorant. If they aren't, they are liars.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And another one down!

I've been waiting for this former Christian to deconvert for a couple of years now. I knew he was way too intelligent to come to any other conclusion than the one he articulates quite nicely here:

Our roles in the Atheosphere are, by nature, a bit more limited in giving us a chance to observe real people, in real time, deconverting from religion. It has thus always been easy to remain cynical about it ever happening. YouTube is a more active community and, in my time there, I have met a number of people who have done so within the past couple of years - and who credit the things they have heard on YouTube and read on the Internet with having made a major difference in their thinking.

Who knows? Maybe CL is next. He isn't so terribly illogical in his thinking that he is beyond any hope of living the rest of his life without the supernatural thinking.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Ancients Unite

Let's make this great song about getting old an Internet Meme!

"For Third" by Gordon Kuhns

"Third" is the name of the band that opened for him.

His YouTube Channel is a2zdiy

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Atheist Wasteland

This is the longest I've gone without a post in the nearly 5 years of maintaining this blog, but I'm back. (and, yes, I really did "maintain" it even through the long absence. You'd be shocked to know know much spam gets posted in the comments and promptly deleted. The post "The Four Horsemen of Atheism" is a particularly popular target for some reason).

Life is constant change and yet many things remain fundamentally the same. Never fear that I have fallen for theistic or woo bullshit! I simply found another outlet for my occasional thoughts (YouTube) and was in thrall to it for some time. It's a much busier and fast paced site and, I have to tell you, I learned much there.

I've found (though I said the words prior to going there) that simply knowing that someone is an atheist, doesn't tell you much about them. Truly, every characteristic both admirable and negative, can be found in those who don't believe in sky fairies. I honestly ran into people who have infuriated and disgusted me as much as any theist I ever met. There is absolutely no guarantee that any wisdom will accompany disbelief - let alone reason and rational thinking.

This said, I also met several of the best people I have run into in life while making and uploading videos to YouTube. The problem is - I met just as many, out of many fewer opportunities, during my years of blogging on EvolutionaryMiddleman! Perhaps I was just incredibly fortunate while here, in having so many atheists share a similar total view of our lives in this universe. Since I can't run an empirical study on it, all is nothing but speculation. I only know this much - finding a fellow atheist in this world will not necessarily be the same as finding a fellow traveler or someone you would actually want to know more about and get closer too. In fact, the odds appear to be against it.