Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eddie Izzard, God, creation, Noah and the great flood...hilarious!

Funny when he says about the ducks saying "so" about the flood coming. He goes on to say there is a big hole in the Noah story. . . things that float, swim and survive in water -- "god didn't say he was going to kill everything except the floating ones and the swimming ones". Eddie is a hoot!

Ever-evolving Christian Mythology

Christianity has not always been the same as it is today. It's been changing over time, "evolving" (I know fundamentalists hate that term -- tee hee). But history provides evidence to the truth of my statement. There is also controversy over whether this Jesus even existed at all. Whether he did or not, there are obviously many who choose to believe he did exist without sufficent evidence. And there are many who stubbornly believe that "True Christianity" has always been the same since the beginning.

What did the first Christians believe?

As stated at, "The evidence shows clearly that the Christians took over pre-existing beliefs and sacraments rather than introduced new ones." There are many mythologies involving a man/god who is born of a virgin, who is sacrificed in some way and then resurrected. "The earliest Christian theorists denied a physical incarnation of their Lord and knew nothing of the Bethlehem saga." Details of the Jesus myth were added over the decades, the story being passed along sort of like the telephone game children play.

Christians were a relative minority
until it aligned itself politically with the State. As for "Biblical accounts" which Christians revere as "divinely inspired", in actuality, they were written by imaginative human beings. Can't deny that the Bible is a collection of some very interesting storytelling, but as I said, invented by human imagination just as any other mythology of the many cultures.

There are actually some 200 gospels, epistles and other books concerning the life of Jesus Christ. Writing such material was a popular literary form, particularly in the 2nd century. The pious fantasies competed with Greek romantic fiction. Political considerations in the late 2nd century led to the selection of just four approved gospels and the rejection of others. After three centuries of wrangling 23 other books were accepted by the Church as divinely inspired. The rest were declared 'pious frauds'. In truth, the whole lot belongs to a genre of literary FICTION.
I would call it historical fiction, like a John Jakes novel. Certain historical events strew in here and there and added fiction to spice it up. Most of these tall tales in the Bible are fables, many are based on mythologies of other cultures. Yet many people believe these far-fetched tales to have actually happened, without having evidence. Many of the Biblical characters are fictitious. The existence of the historical Jesus has been an ongoing argument for ages.

The first believers in Jesus maintained he was an ethereal spirit, much like other sky/sun-gods. Only later did he acquire a human death, a human life and finally a human birth. The composite 'Jesus Christ' character – god, man, king, carpenter, conqueror, peace-maker, dispenser of justice, advocate of love – was assembled to try and unify a fragmented and fractious messianic religious movement.

In the mid-2nd century the Jewishness of the faith was purged but apologists had little to say about a human Jesus. They took comfort in noting similarities between their own ideas and pagan myths. The Christians remained a minority until well after one particular faction formed a political alliance with the Roman State. The orthodox creed remained unpopular for centuries and persecution was necessary to impose its will.
And Christians still cherish their persecution complex, that much hasn't changed.

Christianity is evolving all the time, even now. The Christianity of today is a "touchy-feely" kind of religion, and a belief that this God is some kind of magical genie and Jesus is their best pal who walks and talks with them and is their emotional crutch. The Jesus of today is for the "me" culture, self-centered and softened while all the bad parts of their mythology are ignored (except for the gory zombie Jesus part and the threat of eternal flaming Hell and suffering for non-believers).
Thanks to ChuckA for the link to Kenneth Humphreys has done a lot of work to put together an interesting site with lots of things to read, consider and discuss. Humphreys even cites his sources.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The End of Christian America? Christopher Hitchens vs Ken Blackwell on Hardball

April 8, 2009 on MSNBC

Christopher Hitchens educates Ken Blackwell of The Family Research Council

Christians pray for God to kill Americans United's Rev. Barry Lynn

Well, here is a perfect example of how Christian extremism is as bad as Islamic extremism. Unbelievable. We are supposed to be the “most advanced” nation on the planet and we still have these kinds of dangerous religious kooks calling for their god to off others who simply want to uphold freedom and human rights for all people no matter what their faith or non-faith. Though Rev. Barry Lynn is a follower of the same imaginary friend as former Navy chaplain, Gordon James Klingenschmitt, Klingenschmitt has called for prayers to end Barry Lynn’s life. He has been trying to raise money and recruit supporters through a Religious Right Web site titled (Warning, you will need to take a hot shower after viewing his website.)

Spiritual Warfare: Ex-Chaplain Prays For Death Of AU’s Lynn

Americans United and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) took issue with Klingenschmitt’s site and his e-mail alerts that referred to him as “Chaplain Klingenschmitt” and showed him in a Navy uniform. We wrote to Navy officials, arguing that Klingenschmitt was attempting to mislead people, as he is a former chaplain.

I guess we got Klingenschmitt’s attention because he has now placed a disclaimer on this Web site admitting he’s no longer in the military. And — apparently still disgruntled — over the weekend he called on supporters to launch “imprecatory” prayers against AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn and MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein.

For those of you not versed in the finer points of extreme right-wing theology, imprecatory prayers are prayers that bad things will happen to your enemies – things like death, loss of income, loss of property, etc.

“Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who recently issued a press release attacking me personally,” prays Klingenschmitt on his Web site. “God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround me and tell lies about me. We bless them, but they curse us. Therefore, find them guilty, not me. Let their days be few, and replace them with godly people. Plunder their fields and seize their assets. Cut off their descendants. And remember their sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

You can read the prayer here or listen to it here. (For the printed version, scroll down to “Saturday 25 Apr 09 One-Minute Prayer.” Note that there are a few minor differences between the printed version and the audio version.)

As Rob Boston points out, this isn’t the first Christian loon to call for the end of Barry Lynn’s life, Southern California pastor Wiley Drake has done it twice (after AU blew the whistle on his partisan pulpit politicking).

So, while we really don’t have a name for it like jihad or fatwa, it’s the same damn thing. While Klingenshit says on his site he is fighting for “religious freedom” what he is really doing is fighting against the freedom that this country was founded on and he has no respect for the rights of others who do not share his beliefs. And his public call for wanting someone dead is criminal. All it would take is one psycho to do “God’s Will” and go down as a martyr in the eyes of his fellow lunatics.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Less Christians, More atheists

I stole this from Friendly Atheist's blog. Gradually, people are turning away from superstition seeing the light of reason.

Even the stars die

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured the colorful demise of another Sun-Like star that is some 4,000 light years away from us. This star is shedding off its outer layers of gas, which formed a cocoon around the star’s remaining core. During the process the star is releasing huge amounts of Ultraviolet light that is making it glow. The one just found by astronomers is much older and further away from us.

Astronomers see oldest object in universe yet:

WASHINGTON – Astronomers have spotted a burst of energy from a dying star, setting a record for the oldest and most distant object seen by Earth yet.

The 10-second blast was from when the universe was only 630 million years old.

NASA's Swift satellite spotted the gamma-ray burst, an explosion of high-powered radiation, on April 23. Then ground telescopes watched the afterglow and calculated it had traveled about 13.1 billion light years to get here. It beat old records by 100 or 200 hundred million light years.

NASA astrophysicist Neil Gehrels said the star's fiery death gave birth to a black hole. The star was only 1 million years old or so and was about 30 times the size of our sun.

GRB 090423: The Farthest Explosion Yet Measured
Credit: Gemini Observatory / NSF / AURA, D. Fox & A. Cucchiara (Penn State U.), and E. Berger (Harvard Univ.)

Explanation: An explosion so powerful it was seen clear across the visible universe was recorded in gamma-radiation last week by NASA's orbiting Swift Observatory. Farther than any known galaxy, quasar, or optical supernova, the gamma-ray burst recorded last week was clocked at redshift 8.2, making it the farthest explosion of any type yet detected. Occurring only 630 million years after the Big Bang, GRB 090423 detonated so early that astronomers had no direct evidence that anything explodable even existed back then. The faint infrared afterglow of GRB 090423 was recovered by large ground telescopes within minutes of being discovered. The afterglow is circled in the above picture taken by the large Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii, USA. An exciting possibility is that this gamma-ray burst occurred in one of the very first generation of stars and announced the birth of an early black hole. Surely, GRB 090423 provides unique data from a relatively unexplored epoch in our universe and a distant beacon from which the intervening universe can be studied.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More news from fundie Florida!

Just saw this over at the Friendly Atheist site. Dying Jesus license plates had been approved by the Florida Senate WITHOUT THEM SEEING IT! This one is even worse than the South Carolina ones that say “I Believe” or Indiana’s “In God We Trust." License plates are government property. Time to just go back to the standard plates with state slogans and whatever color the government chooses and stop the vanity plate nonsense before people want messages of Islam, FSM, Xenu or every other damn thing .

Sneaky proseltyzing!

These folks in Florida just do not give up and refuse to understand that Sunday School songs do not belong in a secular public school. When they had to stop singing “In God We Still Trust”, they just pulled another one out of the childrens’ hymnal hat to sing.

Florida at it again — Second Preaching Song for Children:

From American Atheists

Attorneys are seeking to halt teaching of a song they call a “blatantly sectarian and proselytizing religious song” to third-graders at The Webster School until the case can go to court.

This is the second time in less than a month that attorneys asked the United States District Court in Jacksonville for a preliminary injunction to stop a song at Webster.

School district officials said they knew nothing about the amended complaint until contacted by The St. Augustine Record Tuesday evening.

Read more

What a waste of taxpayer money to have to keep on fighting this baloney over and over again. Huge fines should be imposed upon those responsible and maybe they will get back to teaching things that will actually help these kids succeed in their academic career.

Many, many secular songs for children are available that contain very cute and fun lyrics that are appropriate for kids from all backgrounds and walks of life no matter what their family beliefs are. The choice of “Chatter with the Angels” is a blatant attempt of some adult at Webster school to proselytize to youngsters about the Christian heaven and believed afterlife.

The lyrics to the song are:

Chatter with the Angels
Soon in the morning
Chatter with the Angels
In that land!
Chatter with the Angels
Soon in the Morning
Chatter with the Angels
Join that Band!
I hope to join that band and
Chatter with the Angels
All day long!
I hope to join that band and
Chatter with the Angels
All day long!

(And the lyrics keep repeated over and over, ritualistically in a brainwashing sort of way.)

Love the comment by bigbangbeliever: “What a scary song-sounds a little suicidal (”Soon…in that land…”). I’d rather the kids sing “Gonna cure Cancer someday soon-study my science instead of singing dopey tunes”!

Ramen, bigbangbeliever!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lazy answers, don't know it? Call it god.

There's never been a god everyone can agree on

Mythology repeats itself, over and over throughout the ages. Here is an interesting god from

Bearded Multi-cultural God of Healing and various Other Things.

He's something of an enigmatic figure, being a Greek God worshipped by the Egyptians as part of an export deal which saw him appear in several unlikely places including Babylon.

In the time of Ptolemy, like today, there was much political importance in worshipping the right God. Wars and friction were much less likely to happen if you didn't believe your neighbors were dirty stinking blaspheming infidels.

As there has never yet been a God that
everyone can agree on, the Greeks and Egyptians cheated a little by inventing one. They took a statue of HADES for his good looks, mixed in the attributes of OSIRIS and APIS, added a touch of some impressive-sounding but obscure Babylonian God — and the result was SERAPIS.

This religious strategy was highly successful — in fact we highly recommend it to The Powers That Be in the modern world. Perhaps
SERAPIS himself might fit the bill. He was associated with a cult of the divine bull and had a magnificently bushy beard. It could be worse.

So many gods, so little common sense amongst humans to recognize mythology for what it is. . . fiction.


Click in image to enlarge for a spectacular view!Sky Panorama Over Lake Salda
Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN)

Explanation: As midnight approached, a spectacular sky appeared. Such was the case last month from the shore of Lake Salda in southwestern Turkey. In the above night sky panorama, rocky sand covers the foreground, while building lights are visible across the lake. Looking up, the stars of Orion lie just ahead, while Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, appears to Orion's left. To Orion's right, just above the horizon, lies the Pleiades open star cluster. Arching across the sky is the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. High in the center, the stars Castor and Pollux are visible. Lake Salda is famous partly for its blue color that is slightly discernable even in the above image.

Cosmic Bubble

click on image to enlarge
Sharpless 308
Credit & Copyright: Don Goldman

Explanation: Blown by fast winds from a hot, massive star, this cosmic bubble is huge. Cataloged as Sharpless 308 it lies some 5,200 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major and covers over 2/3 degree on the sky (compared with 1/2 degree for the Full Moon). That corresponds to a diameter of 60 light-years at its estimated distance. The massive star itself, a Wolf-Rayet star, is the bright blue one near the center of the nebula. Wolf-Rayet stars have over 20 times the mass of the Sun and are thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova phase of massive star evolution. Fast winds from this Wolf-Rayet star create the bubble-shaped nebula as they sweep up slower moving material from an earlier phase of evolution. The windblown nebula has an age of about 70,000 years. Relatively faint emission captured in the expansive image is dominated by the glow of ionized oxygen atoms mapped to bluish hues.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Devil and Bishop Finn

Bishop Robert W. Finn is “waging spiritual war” in order to enforce the “spiritual laws” of his imaginary friend. As usual, God cannot enforce his own laws and when he doesn’t show up, some of his followers take it upon themselves to defend him. Funny how a great and all-powerful being has to constantly rely on mere humans to fight his battles for him.

Bishop Finn speaks as if we are in some great cosmic video game, “The Church Militant” vs the “agents of Satan.” (Can we market this and make some money? Oh wait, that’s already been done.)

The Devil And Bishop Finn: Catholic Prelate Wages Spiritual War To Enforce God’s Law

Using highly intemperate language, the Kansas City, Mo., prelate said the “Church Militant” is “engaged in a constant warfare with Satan” and “human enemies,” people who are “deceived by Satan’s distortions and lies.”

Finn identified among these human enemies those “who wish to establish a path of living that contravenes God’s law: promoting abortion; unnatural substitutes for marriage, and all such distortions of true freedom.”

I agree with AU’s Joseph L Conn when he says :

Debate on these topics is understandably vigorous and often contentious. But when a leader of one faith tradition begins to dismiss those who disagree (including apparently the president of the United States) as pawns of Satan, democratic dialogue breaks down. When that religious leader characterizes those who differ with him about a political matter as “human enemies,” the bonds of civil society are stretched to the breaking point.

At its heart, Bishop Finn is bent on undermining freedom of conscience. If he succeeds in imposing his version of God’s law through legislation, the separation of church and state is clearly jeopardized.

It’s why we have website like this, we must keep ever vigilant.

Take a look at the comment section at the Catholic Key blog and see how many people actually agree with Finn, and all based on their sect's version of religious conviction.

What are US students learning about Islam?

“History is not history unless it is the truth.” – Abraham Lincoln

Is political correctness distorting historical truth in our public school systems?

Gary Bauer is a conservative and most of you will remember him as a former undersecretary of the Department of Education under President Reagan. At present, Bauer is president of American Values and chairman of Campaign for Working Families.

Bauer has written this opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor. He is proposing that the information in historical textbooks which are supposed to provide factual and objective account of events that have happened throughout the course of history, is being altered so as not to offend the perceived fragile sensitivities of the various cultures.

Bauer writes:

Most Americans understand history as an objective accounting of past events. In recent years, however, textbook publishers have come under increasing criticism for rewriting history. Claims are presented as facts while controversial material is whitewashed or omitted.

Today these trends are quite apparent in the way public school history books address Islam. In his 2008 study “Islam in the Classroom: what the textbooks tell us,” Gilbert Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council (ATC), reviewed 10 of the nation’s most widely used junior and senior high school history textbooks. The results should disturb anyone interested in conveying to our children a truthful history of the religion whose extreme adherents drive so many of today’s tragic headlines.

But how do we do this without instilling fear and hatred of an entire culture? Not an easy task.

Bauer goes on to say:

Let’s be clear. Religion is by nature a sensitive topic to teach in the classroom. And in a world where stereotypes wrongly tar all Muslims as being prone to violence, it’s understandable that schools would err on the side of caution. Indeed, they should affirm the piety and charity practiced by hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, an acknowledgment that should be extended to Christians as well. At the same time, textbooks shouldn’t cower from covering the violent periods of Muslim conquest or the Islamic beliefs that fundamentalists exploit for violent ends.

Sewall found that many textbooks gloss over or delete important facts. For example, in the 1990s, “jihad” – which has many meanings, among them “sacred” or “holy” struggle but also “holy war” – was defined in the Houghton Mifflin junior high school book only as a struggle “to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil.”

The many acts of violence committed on behalf of Islam in the past decade have made that definition incomplete, to say the least. Yet, as ATC notes, “by 2005, Houghton Mifflin apparently had removed jihad from its entire series of social studies textbooks.”

Is it okay to “soften’ history in order to make it politically correct and “less offensive”. Let’s face it, there is much about history that isn’t pretty and we can dress it up and downplay certain aspects but that doesn’t mean those events did not happen. And if we forget history, it is destined to repeat itself.

Maybe it’s time we have an open mind and all take a look at those textbooks that are being used to teach our children instead of merely trusting that what the schools are teaching are the real facts?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Richard Dawkins’ Speech at the 2009 American Atheists Convention

This is a bit long, but worth watching.

The lecture is divided into four sections: 1. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation / 2. Mining the Eddington Concession / 3. God as Science Ficton / 4. Q&A on dealing with Creationists

Link to video

More Religious Right boo-hooing and lies

Once again the Religious Right are whining and worried that their right to speak freely from their pulpits will be threatened. Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913) would target hate crimes is intended to “allow the U.S. Justice Department to offer assistance when a crime that results in death or serious injury is committed against any American because of the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.” So unless they are going to bring a homosexual up in front of the congregation and beat the crap out of him/her, they are just being paranoid.

Full article: Pastors In Prison?: Religious Right Spreads Lies About Hate Crimes Bill

I guess that pastors may be feeling a wee bit guilty for they do know what they are doing… encouraging bigotry and they know it. They should be a bit worried about being charged with instigating a hate crime if someone who hears their bigoted and hateful Sunday Sermons and the lovely passages from Leviticus and go find a homosexual to beat up or stone to death. (Which has been done in the past, as we all have seen on the evening news.) So, they are spewing out lies and propaganda to their congregations without fully understanding what the legislation is all about. No one is going to arrest pastors for simply exercising their freedom of speech. That is a total lie. Even if a pastor goes around preaching his bigotry and hate on a street corner, no cops come and arrest him. Now if he would start beating the crap out of someone, then yes, his ass is going to get thrown in jail.

As Becky Dansky, federal legislative director for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, told the Washington Blade, such claims by the Religious Right are “completely inaccurate, unless their priest or reverend or religious leader is physically assaulting someone based on their sexual orientation while they’re giving that sermon.”

But the thick-headed fundies just refuse to get it. They are in full persecution mode over this one. How typical to turn themselves into the victim in need of protection.

Yet Religious Right leaders keep playing the “your-pastor-will-go-to-jail” card.

“An offended homosexual could accuse a pastor, Sunday School teacher of broadcaster of causing emotional injury simply by expressing the Biblical view that homosexuality is sinful,” blares the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association in an e-mail alert.

Over at the Traditional Values Coalition, Andrea Lafferty warns, “Your pastor could be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit a hate crime if it passes and become law. This so-called ‘hate crimes’ bill will be used to lay the legal foundation and framework to investigate, prosecute, and persecute pastors, business owners, Bible teachers, Sunday School teachers, youth pastors – you name it – or anyone else whose actions are based upon and reflect the truth found in the Bible.”

And as Rob Boston says:

What is the Religious Right’s evidence for these extravagant claims? It doesn’t have any.

They are simply stomping their feet because they will have to be a bit more careful in this world about the things they say about people who are different and hold different viewpoints, lifestyles, values, beliefs and non-beliefs. Why not preach about how to help others instead of cherry-picking the parts of the Bible that promote divisiveness.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

And evidence for evolution keeps piling up - "walking seal fossil"

So much interesting and exciting science stuff in the news lately! Here is an article on a recent find in support of seal evolution.

LINK Otter-like fossil reveals early seal evolution

NEW YORK – Scientists say they've found a "missing link" in the early evolution of seals and walruses — the skeleton of a web-footed, otter-like creature that was evolving away from a life on land. Those feet and other anatomical features show an early step on the way to developing flippers and other adaptations for a life in the sea, the scientists said.

One expert called it "a fantastic discovery" that fills a crucial gap in the fossile record.

The 23 million-year-old creature was not a direct ancestor of today's seals, sea lions and walruses, a group known collectively as pinnipeds. It's from a different branch. But it does show what an early direct ancestor looked like, said researcher Natalia Rybczynski.

The fossil was found on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, bolstering the notion that the far north was an early center of pinniped evolution, she said.


Space blob?

Now this is interesting:

2009: A space oddity; big blob in early universe

WASHINGTON – A strange giant space "blob" spotted when the universe was relatively young has got astronomers puzzled. Using space and ground telescopes, astronomers looked back to when the universe was only 800 million years old and found something that was out of proportion and out of time.

It was gaseous, big, and emitted a certain type of radiation, said study lead author Masami Ouchi, an astronomer at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, Calif.

Scientists don't even know what to call it. So they just called it a radiation-emitting "blob." They used that horror-film staple 34 times in their peer-reviewed study, which will be published in next month's edition of Astrophysical Journal. More formally, they named it Himiko, after a legendary ancient Japanese queen.

The photo of it is beyond fuzzy.

"The puzzle is — what is it?" said California Institute of Technology astronomer Richard Ellis, who wasn't on the research team but praised the find. "Often a puzzle leads to a breakthrough. My nose tells me that this object is rather special."

Ouchi and Ellis said one possibility is that by chance, astronomers captured the moment a galaxy was forming in the early universe — something that never has been seen before.

As astronomers gaze deeper into space, they are looking farther back in time. What Ouchi found was from 12.9 billion years ago. Only three other objects have been seen that are from deeper in time and space.

But what's most remarkable about this blob is its size, about as big as the disk-shaped Milky Way. According to many theories of the universe, nothing was supposed to be that big at that time in the universe. The other objects from that period are far smaller, Ouchi said.

Ouchi said it also could be two colliding galaxies, or might have something to do with a black hole.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bad God

Click on image to enlarge.It's so contradictory how god believers will try to keep violence, bloodshed, horror movies, sex, etc. away from their children but buy them Bibles, take them to church where they have the Bible read to them, and encourage them to hear the bloody and gruesome horror story of the crucifixion of a man-god and told it is because they are so very bad that a god had to create a son for himself to allow to be tortured and murdered in the most hideous and bloody way. Don't they see the irony?

The Abrahamic religions are the most awful and grotestque ever invented by human imagination. THE BIBLE SHOULD BE X-RATED!

Scientists discover a nearly Earth-sized planet

This is an interesting find:

An artist's impression of 'Planet e' , forground left, released by the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere Tuesday April 21, 2009. Exoplanet researcher Michel Mayor announced Tuesday the discovery of the lightest exoplanet found so far. The planet, 'e', in the famous system Gliese 581, in the constellation of Libra and 20.5 light years (192 trillion km or 119 trillion miles) away, is only about twice the mass of Earth. The team also refined the orbit of the planet Gliese 581 d, (coloured blue in image) first discovered in 2007, placing it well within the habitable zone, where liquid water oceans could exist. These discoveries are the outcome of more than four years of observations using the most successful low-mass-exoplanet hunter in the world, the HARPS spectrograph attached to the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at La Silla, Chile. (AP Photo/ European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere)

And there is this from Associated Press (via Yahoo news)

HATFIELD, England – In the search for Earth-like planets, astronomers zeroed in Tuesday on two places that look awfully familiar to home. One is close to the right size. The other is in the right place.

European researchers said they not only found the smallest exoplanet ever, called Gliese 581 e, but realized that a neighboring planet discovered earlier, Gliese 581 d, was in the prime habitable zone for potential life.

"The Holy Grail of current exoplanet research is the detection of a rocky, Earth-like planet in the 'habitable zone,'" said Michel Mayor, an astrophysicist at Geneva University in Switzerland.

An American expert called the discovery of the tiny planet "extraordinary."

Gliese 581 e is only 1.9 times the size of Earth — while previous planets found outside our solar system are closer to the size of massive Jupiter, which NASA says could swallow more than 1,000 Earths.

Gliese 581 e sits close to the nearest star, making it too hot to support life. Still, Mayor said its discovery in a solar system 20 1/2 light years away from Earth is a "good example that we are progressing in the detection of Earth-like planets."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Christian Persecution Complex Propaganda

This video is such unbelievable bullshit it's not even funny. While the video is right about the schools forcing children to be tolerant of homosexuals and all people in order to get along together in this world, they are in no way persecuting Christians when they request simply that students have respect for others who are different from themselves.

At one point in the video, a teacher tosses a child's Bible into the trash and I am sure that might happen in rare circumstances, but I am sure it is not what most teachers would do. That does not fall into the respect or tolerance that schools are trying to maintain in order to teach children in the classroom. Christians are so dramatic with their imagined persecution scenarios!

The video says:

“A closet is by no means a suitable place to live, but to abandon it only to force people of faith into it is not tolerance. In an age where good is called evil and evil good, concerned parents must inoculate their children from the cultural engineering of the Secular Humanists.”

This is such bullshit. No one is forcing people of faith into a closet by coming out of their own. If they can't have their way 100% they start bellyaching and boo-hooing that they are being persecuted. Just because schools must provide a secular education independent of religious and supernatural claims does not mean that they are trying to "take their Jesus away" or any other religion. That is what churches, mosques and synagogues are for and our country is loaded with mythology temples of all sorts. So the boo-hooing about people of faith being "forced into a closet" simply by others being allowed to come out of theirs' is utterly ridiculous.

What would Jesus NOT do?

This little cartoon video is great. It brings up the bad parts of the Bible that most Christians want to simply ignore and re-create this Jesus and God into their own image because the Bible is just too terrible. They write it off as "it was right for the time and cultural context" which is simply like I said, they just want to believe in a fluffy-puffy protector genie god who is their imaginary way to the impossible everlasting life.

And as for the miracle man, Jesus himself, NonStampCollector says this about it:

We always hear about the many amazing things that Jesus of Nazareth apparently did, but nobody ever asks about the things that Jesus supposedly COULD have done, being omnipotent, but either didn’t bother to do or didn’t think were all that important. You know, things like… reducing human misery and suffering… that kind of thing.

That's because this whole religion and Bible was invented by vindictive humans with evil thoughts and intentions towards other human beings.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flying Spagetti Monster sighted by NASA!

But as we know, there is a scientific explanation for everything, whether we know it right away or not yet.

LINK: Galactic 'spaghetti monster' powered by magnetic fields

Long-lived magnetic fields are sustaining a mammoth network of spaghetti-like gas filaments around a black hole, a new study suggests. Previously, it was not clear what prevented the delicate filaments from being destroyed by competing gravitational forces.

The black hole lies at the heart of a large galaxy known as NGC 1275, which itself lies near the centre of a cluster of galaxies called Perseus.

As the black hole sucks in gas from its surroundings, it powers jets of matter that produce bubbles of energetic particles in the surrounding cluster gas. As these bubbles grow and rise, cooled gas from NGC 1275's core gets drawn into long tendrils in their wake, like the strings that trail behind balloons.


Atheist bus comes to Indiana!

Just a few people have been making this happen in certain areas of the country and the world. Imagine what we could do if we all got involved.

LINK: Atheist Bus Campaign Launches in Indiana!

Addition: The atheist bus campaign is not designed to attack religion, but to let ourselves be known that there are others with no beliefs in the world. We should be able to exercise our freedom of expression and speech just like the religious do over and over again everywhere in our faces. The atheist bus campaign and billboard campaigns simply let other non-believers know that they are not alone, and also lets others who are sitting on the fence between belief and non-belief know that it is okay, they can come out of that closet and will not be alone in the world. It's a simple message and a better one than "Are you going to Hell?"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pastor in a box

Now some Xians are really getting desperate if they feel they need to resort to stunts like and this latest gimmick, Pastor in a Box.

H/T to J-walk blog

“This might be cheesy, but what can I say? I am passionate about the church getting out and being the church, not just within our walls, but outside of them as well. It’s time for the church to get out of the box and let our world know that we serve a great God and have fun doing it.” - Ben Dailey

If Calvary Church breaks the 4,000 attendance barrier Sunday, April 12th and Sunday, April 19th Ben will sacrifice all the comforts of common daily life, make his way to the roof of Calvary Church, overlooking Highway 161, and reside in a ‘roomy’ 6×6x6 foot plexi-glass box for three days and nights. He will enter the box on April 26th at 7:00pm and exit the box April 29th at 7:00pm.

If he gets enough people to show up to put him in the box, how long do you think he will survive inside a plexiglass box in the searing sunshine? He could end up poaching himself.

YouTube Creationist Murders Fellow Student

Religion didn't help him much, just seems to have added to his mental illness . . . another example of how religion can make things so much worse. The hatred in this individual was extreme, however atheism didn't seem to have anything to do with this attack against a female student.

This video, brought to my attention by The Atheist Jew is frightening. It’s obvious this dude was very ill. It’s also a good example of why we must be very careful to protect our personal identity and information in the blogosphere.

From The Atheist Blogger:

Video link

For those familiar with the atheist/Christian & evolution/creation debates on YouTube, you will have probably come across the user Tony48219, real name Anthony Powell. He ranted about Evolution and atheism, using repeatedly debunked arguments, and was a fanboy of VenomFangX. Anthony Powell shot and killed fellow student and YouTuber Asia McGowan last Friday, before turning the shotgun on himself.

In a recent video, Tony48219 (YouTube account now suspended) had told viewers he had no reason to live, and that he would kill himself with a shotgun. His parents said he had had problems with depression, but didn’t like taking his medicine.

Very disturbing and very, vert sad.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another one that'll piss you off

This is what theists always do, they manipulate things to make it seem as if they are somehow coming out a “winner” in the eyes of other theists everywhere. Now some dipshit is claiming that the atheist bus campaign actually “served God’s cause”.

LINK: Atheist ad campaign backfired, papal preacher says

It’s what they do…manipulate reality and LIE.

A CAMPAIGN promoting atheism on London buses this year ultimately “served God’s cause” by reminding people of the importance of faith, especially to those who suffer, a top papal preacher says.

Buses bearing the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now enjoy your life!” hit the streets of London in January and the atheist publicity stunt was replicated in other cities, attracting widespread media coverage.

“We should almost thank the people who promoted that advertising campaign. It has served God’s cause more than so many of our apologetic arguments,” said Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who is officially Preacher of the Papal Household.

“It has demonstrated the poverty of their reasons and has helped stir so many sleeping consciences,” he added

Fr Cantanlamessa was preaching in St Peter’s Basilica in the presence of Pope Benedict on Good Friday, in one of the main services ahead of Easter, climax of the Christian year.

“Stirred so many sleeping consciences”? He fails to report how many of those “sleeping consciences” woke up to reason and how many atheists were glad to see someone finally advertising a counterpoint to the superstitious beliefs that we find absurd.

Sending the wrong message

These Answers in Genesis people really piss me off. In this very brief video the message they are conveying is that if you don’t have God, just go ahead and shoot people! And a KID no less! Unfuckingbelievable! No wonder we have so many yahoos going around shooting people when their god never shows up! It’s what they are taught.

Link: to their asshat video

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To the young earth creationists -- evolution is NOT a faith!

Remember Edward Current from this video I posted awhile ago, and this one? Well, he has a new spoof on evolution. I’m stating this ahead of time because there are those who take him seriously, fundies and atheists alike.
(H/T to Atheist Jew)

And while we are on the subject, Mondo Gonzales has a very asinine newspaper article on Evolution as a faith. What a moron this guy is to mislead a whole congregation of people, and what morons they are to believe and allow their children to be exposed to his “teaching” despite all the scientific evidence for evolution and zero for the existence of their god. I hope some of you will leave him a little message to educate him and folks who read his column.

Link: Evolution Shmevolution!

Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

click on image to enlargeIn these Hubble photos, the core of M87 is located at lower left in the images. HST-1 is the bright blob at center. The glowing material at far right is part of a stream of particles in the jet that speed up and glow in the ultraviolet. The photos show show the jet growing brighter over a seven-year period. Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Madrid (McMaster University)


A jet of gas spewing from a huge black hole has mysteriously brightened, flaring to 90 times its normal glow.

For seven years the Hubble Space Telescope has been watching the jet, which pours out of the supermassive black hole in the center of the M87 galaxy. It has photographed the strange phenomenon fading and then brightening, with a peak that even outshines M87's brilliant core.

Scientists have dubbed the enigmatic bright blob HST-1, and are so far at a loss to explain its weird behavior.