Funny quote of the day

18 03 2009

From a Pharyngula comment thread on endeavours by well-wishers to free Kent Hovind (sung to the tune of “Free Nelson Mandela”):

Dr. Kent Hovind’s oppressors have to decide whether they want to live in fear or learn to live in love. If you don’t agree with this I question your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

Gold.

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Quote of the week: Jerry Coyne on the incompatibility of science and religion

4 03 2009

Jerry Coyne, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, reviews two books by theistic evolutionists in The New Republic:

It would appear, then, that one cannot be coherently religious and scientific at the same time. That alleged synthesis requires that with one part of your brain you accept only those things that are tested and supported by agreed-upon evidence, logic, and reason, while with the other part of your brain you accept things that are unsupportable or even falsified. In other words, the price of philosophical harmony is cognitive dissonance. Accepting both science and conventional faith leaves you with a double standard: rational on the origin of blood clotting, irrational on the Resurrection; rational on dinosaurs, irrational on virgin births. Without good cause, Giberson and Miller pick and choose what they believe. At least the young-earth creationists are consistent, for they embrace supernatural causation across the board. With his usual flair, the physicist Richard Feynman characterized this difference: “Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” With religion, there is just no way to know if you are fooling yourself. Read the rest of this entry »





The Bill Muehlenberg Trophy: Garret Oden’s Burgess Shale of ignorance

18 02 2009
Lately I’ve been weighing in to a debate on Matt’s Notepad between the eponymous Matt and one Garret Oden, regarding the latter’s “A couple reasons [sic] to believe that God DOES exist.” Pointing out the manifold factual errors and logical fallacies in Oden’s list of arguments for theism, a plurality of which are based on the assumption that arguments against evolution are arguments for the existence of God, would (if you’ll pardon the expression) try the patience of a saint; you may do so at your leisure. His waterboarding of reasoned argument is replicated in his exchanges with Matt and myself, such that it is difficult to determine whether or not Oden is a Poe. A glance at his website makes it all the more tempting to draw that conclusion:

 Source: http://www.fredthespot.com/

 
(Source: Fred the Spot)

[UPDATE: BTW, Fred the Spot “evolves” into a crucifix, complete with Biblical texts so grovelling and self-abasing that they would make a BDSM sub blush. This guy should be writing Chick Tracts.]

Garret’s name links to the aforementioned website, so it is reasonable to conclude that it is his. Here are a few tasty morsels, both from his own Forever Christian blog and from pages linked to Fred the Spot. Read the rest of this entry »





Subversive Muse’s "Short Critique of Science" series

4 12 2007

Just quickly–Rae at Subversive Muse has written a series of posts “from a critical left-wing perspective” on atheism, science and religion. I’ve expressed my objections to Rae’s arguments–I think they basically misrepresent science (it is taken as axiomatic in this series of posts that science is “an ideology,” whereas I think this needs to be argued for/demonstrated) and critique a strawman definition of atheism–and I know Bruce (who is more well-versed on this topic than I am) is preparing a response at his blog. Brian at Primordial Blog has written a thoughtful response as well.


Just to make it worth your while (and Rae, I’m not lumping you in with these guys!), here are some Youtube dispatches from the war on science:

“The Evangelical War on Science”





The Wonderful World of Magical Thnking XXXIII

18 11 2007

The week in fundie . . .

  1. God hearts Howard’s policies: Howard. (Sydney Morning Herald)
  2. Nothing restores my faith in the intersection of faith and politics than another heartwarming story from Saudi Arabia. Last week an appeals court increased the punishment meted out to a gang-rape victim (perfectly understandable, of course: she was in a car with males who were not her relatives) to 200 lashes and six months in prison. (via Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)
  3. And nothing restores my faith in the willingness of certain Christians to follow the example of the central figure of their religion than the openness and tolerance displayed by the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, which last week expelled a congregation for welcoming gays and lesbians. Fundies. If they’re not lying for Jesus, they’re hating for him. (via Morons.org)
  4. Meanwhile in Britain, women are queuing up for a kind of cosmetic surgery known as “virginity repair” to appease their future spouses and in-laws. All in the name of Islamic fundamentalism. All taxpayer-funded. (Daily India)
  5. The response to PBS’ Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial is worth the price of admission (so to speak). (via Pharyngula)

Secular Believers:





Blatant Darwin Award

14 11 2007

Man discovered dead in girlfriend’s cat door
Wednesday Nov 14 10:00 AEDT

By ninemsn staff

A US man has been discovered dead in his girlfriend’s cat door, leaving authorities confused about his exact manner of death.

The man, Charles Tucker Junior, was using the animal entry to gain access to his girlfriend’s home on Sunday morning when he became stuck, News4Jax reported.

Officials said his girlfriend made the bizarre discovery only hours after she ordered him out of her house.

Speaking of Darwin, the PBS Nova special about the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case, “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial,” will be available for viewing online from November 16.

Worth listening to is a collection of audio clips from a range of scientists and philosophers explaining what does and does not count as science.





PBS Nova special: "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial"

12 11 2007

I can’t promise anything, but docos like these “accidentally” happen to find their way onto Google Video from time to time, and you can often find out about them at onegoodmove.

The Discovery Institute has already produced a video response, labelling PBS the “Propaganda Broadcasting System” and claiming that the documentary will not be “fair and balanced.” The DI’s video-whine also juxtaposes black-and-white images of “anti-ID propagandist Barbara Forrest” and “Darwinian Activist Eugenie Scott” with what I can only assume is supposed to be Third Reich-era German folk music. (Because supporters of science and reason are Nazis who just want to persecute Christian Fundamentalists ID advocates.)

Ah, the Discovery Institute. Long on ad hominems and plaintive whiny rhetoric. Short on research and evidence.

BTW: I found this 2003 transcript of a Science Show interview with Eugenie Scott discussing ID/creationism and “Project Steve.”