"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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Location: Australia

I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.


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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Evolution Rocks!

Imagine there is a giant boulder sitting on top of a high hill. One rainy and windy day, the boulder’s purchase is so eroded that it finally tumbles down the hill scouring a huge groove in the surface of the hill. The way down is rocky and clogged with debris, so the boulder, as it tumbles, bounces this way and that, popping up in the air when it hits an outcrop or a fallen tree. At the bottom of the hill, the boulder bounces off the ground and falls into the lake beyond, where it sinks into the mud and is covered over by water.

Hundreds of years later some men come by and notice the great furrow cut in the surface of the hill. The furrow is incomplete because over time parts of it have weathered away, and a subsequent landslide has destroyed portions of it, and there were times when the boulder was airborne. The rock itself lay hidden beneath the muddy floor of the lake. The men try to explain what caused this furrow. One man, the theist, says that God created the furrow. The other men like this idea and they go back to their village and spread the good word, culminating in Fred Franklin writing a book that tells about God creating the furrow.

Several hundred years after that a theist and a scientist come to visit the furrow.
The scientist climbs the hill and studies the rock at the top. He tests rolling small rocks in various places on the hill’s surface. He studies the sides of the furrow and compares them to pictures of furrows created when other boulders rolled down other hills. After much study, he announces that something massive, probably a large boulder or a slab of stone, slid or rolled down the surface of the hill sometime in the past.

The theist points to the missing areas of the furrow and says “If a rock rolled down the hill, where is the evidence here? There are gaps in your evidence, and therefore you must be wrong, and God must have done it.”

The scientist explains that (a) even if his hypothesis is incorrect, that doesn’t mean that the “God hypothesis” is correct, and (b) it’s possible that over time that some of the furrow would be filled in by landslides or other sorts of erosion.

The theist refuses to abandon the God hypothesis (despite the fact that there is no proof.) So the scientist takes a pick and a shovel and digs up a spot in the center of the landslide. Sure enough eventually he uncovers evidence of the rolling boulder beneath several feet of gravel and dirt, a deely gouged stone and compacted dirt matching the profile of the furrow above and below the slide.

“See?” he says.

“See what?” the theist says.
“You uncovered a stretch that is only six feet long. How do I know that if you dug upslope or downslope another six feet you would find any evidence there? You haven’t uncovered the whole furrow! Therefore, you’re wrong, and God did it.”

So the scientist removes the rest of the landslide. It takes many days, but it reveals the furrow like structure almost the entire length of the formerly covered area. In the meantime, while the scientist is doing real work, the theist preaches and glorifies the greatness of the god that cut the furrow. Once the landslide is removed the scientist identifies two thousand three hundred and seventy eight pieces of evidence that point to a large slab of stone rolling through that location following a path that connects up the furrow on both ends.

“See?” he says to the theist.

“See what?” the theist says.
He points to a 3 foot gap between evidence #1,536 and #1,537. “You haven’t demonstrated that a boulder rolled through this three foot area.”

The scientist shakes his head while wiping dirt and sweat from his brow. “No, and I’m not going to. I’ve amassed more than enough evidence to demonstrate that a boulder rolled down the entire length of this hill. There is enough evidence on either side of this gap to safely assume that the boulder which caused impact #1,536 also caused scrape #1,537.”

“Your theory has holes in it. How can you accept that?”

“You’re not thinking, sir. The only way to be 100% certain that a boulder rolled down this hill would be to go back in time and watch it happen. That’s clearly impossible. Over time some of the evidence will be destroyed, and therefore gathering all of the evidence after the fact is similarly impossible. Nonetheless I’ve been able to find enough evidence to support that hypothesis.”

“Why should I take your word for it?”

“Oh you shouldn’t. It’s still a hypothesis. Now I need to publish my findings, those findings will have to be reviewed by other scientists, and they will need to come here and conduct their own experiments to see if I’m right or wrong. They will likely perform other sorts of tests that I haven’t thought of, they may propose alternative hypotheses that will need to be tested, and I will need to stay out of their way and let them work. Only after my findings have been independently reproduced and thoroughly reviewed and confirmed will my hypothesis become a theory.”

“And then it is simply accepted as fact?”

“Oh no, theories can be and are challenged all the time. Over time through scientific advances we come up with new and better ways to test old theories. The best theories will endure the test of time.”

“So when will you know for sure?”

“I don’t understand?”

“When will you be able to say beyond all shadow of any doubt that a giant boulder rolled down this hill?”

“Never. Science doesn’t deal in 100% certainties, only in probabilities. Personally I’m 90% certain a boulder rolled down this hill, science will never be certain. Science may approach 100% certainty, but it can never say ‘for sure’… new information may be found in the future that casts an accepted theory into doubt. That’s why Science is so wonderful, it’s not doctrinal… it’s open to new information.”

“So you admit you can’t prove with 100% certainty that a rolling boulder did this.”

“Yes, of course I admit that.”

“Then I can’t see why you would expect me to believe that. I am 100% certain that God created that furrow.”

“Well what evidence can you provide to support your hypothesis?”

The theist pulls his holy book from his pack, opens it, and begins to read. “Yea and verily, it was upon the morning of the ninth day that The Lord touched the great hill with the tip of his divine finger and scratched a long furrow in it leading to the lake and said. ‘See how I your God have marked this hill. Look upon this mark and remember it is I who …’”

“I’m still waiting for evidence,” the scientist interrupts.

The theist holds up the book. “This is the word of God.”

“That is the word of Freddie Franklin. The fact that he wrote that story to explain the great furrow is interesting from an anthropological perspective, but it doesn’t amount to proof either way. Besides, I can provide evidence that this furrow is 750 years old. Freddie Franklin only lived 300 years ago, so he didn’t see it being formed. Therefore I repeat, where is your evidence?”

The theist flips to another page and begins reading again. “I stood upon the Earth and trembled as God cut the furrow in the soil …”

The scientist interrupts again. “That’s not evidence dammit. You can read that book from end to end and it doesn’t amount to one iota of evidence beyond ’someone said so’.”

“Well where is YOUR evidence?” the theist demands.

“Are you kidding? I just spent two weeks digging up this…”

“No, I know you’ve uncovered a few scattered bits of evidence to support your delusional rolling boulder idea, but where is your evidence that God DIDN’T create this furrow?”

“Why on Earth would I ever try and prove that?”


Science reaches conclusions which fit the evidence. You have a conclusion based on no evidence at all. That’s not science, it’s storytelling, and I can’t see why you would expect me to disprove it. I’m not the one making an outrageous claim here. You’re the one who is claiming an invisible supernatural being made this feature. That’s one hefty claim, and you need to prove that it is true.”

“You don’t seek proof of the almighty… that would be blasphemy.”

“I’m not asking you to prove the existence of your supernatural entity of choice, I am asking you to prove that this furrow was created by a supernatural entity. And DON’T start reading from that book again. That’s not evidence.”

“This is all the evidence I have, and it’s the only evidence I need.”

And off the theist goes to his village to profess how Science was unable to disprove that God made the great furrow. Leaving the exhausted and exasperated scientist to shake his head and get back to work discovering the truth.

So it is with evolution my friend. The amount of evidence which has been gathered which supports evolution is overwhelming. It is a truly phenomenal quantity of evidence. It is more than enough evidence to allow one to safely assume that A evolved to B even when there is a gap in the evidence between A and B.

And, as the scientist notes in the above story, gaps in the evidence for evolution do not equal proof of creationism. If someone managed to scientifically disprove evolution as we understand it today, that would not mean that creationism is proven. Creationism would be just as much poppycock then as it is now.


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"Like A Rolling Stone" - (Dylan Cover) by A Beggar's Opera


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CHEAP GRACE - The Bible Belt Gets It Wrong

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Far from being filled with the Holy Spirit, it appears as if some religious leaders and their authoritarian followers are filled with what John Dean refers to as "cheap grace."

It is as as if these individuals had worn down their consciences with cheap grace--a remarkable and frightening process. "One of the things a conscience is supposed to do is make us act better, but when you have a means of eliminating guilt there is not much incentive to clean up your act. You see how conscience gets short circuited," (Robert) Altmeyer noted. He added. "bad behavior may produce guilt, but it is easily washed away.

So then more bad behavior can result again and again, getting removed very easily through religion. There is a terrible closing to this reality. The lack of guilt over things he has done in the past can actually contribute to the self-righteousness of the authoritarian. And this self-righteousness has proven, in experiments, to be the main factor that unleashes the right wing authoritarian's aggressive impulses."

He concluded, "I have called them 'God's designated hitters.' We end up with the irony that the people who think they are so very good end up doing so very much evil, and more remarkably, they are probably the last people in the world who will ever realize the connection between the two." There is no better explanation for the behavior of many Christian conservatives, for it accounts for their license to do ill, Christian beliefs notwithstanding." -From Conservatives Without Conscience (page 64) -by John Dean

Consider the following:

THE 10 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST OVER ALL INCARCERATION RATES: Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Arizona , Delaware. In short, nine out of ten were Red States. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners, 2003 (November 2004)]

THE 10 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATE OF FEMALE INCARCERATION IN 2003: Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Alabama, Nevada, Colorado. Ten out of ten were Red States. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners 2003 (November 2004)]

THE TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF EXECUTIONS IN 2004 WERE ALL RED STATES: Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada . [Bureau of Justice Statistics. Capital Punishment, 2004 (November 2005)]

The 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATES OF DEATH BY FIREARMS IN 2003 WERE ALL RED STATES: Alaska , Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky. [Deaths. Final Date for 2003 National Center For Health Statistics Volume 54, No 13, 2006 ]

OF THE 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATES OF SUICIDE, 14 OUT OF 15 WERE RED STATES: Wyoming, Alaska, Nevada, Montana, New Mexico, Idaho , Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, South Dakota, Kentucky. [Deaths. Final Date for 2003, National Center for health statistics. Volume 54. No 13, 2006]

TEN OF THE TOP TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST DIVORCE RATES ARE RED STATES: Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Florida. [Division of Vital Statistics. National Center for Health Statistics CDC. 2005 among 45 reported.]

NINE OF THE TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST ILLEGITIMACY RATES ARE RED STATES: New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Delaware, Arizona, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Georgia, Arizona. [Births. Final Data for 2003. National Center for Health, Statistics. Volume 54, Nov 2, 2005 ]

14 OF THE 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST OBESITY RATES ARE RED STATES: Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee,Louisiana, Arizona, Kentucky, Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia. [Behavioral Risk Surveillance System. Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2004 ]

EIGHT OF THE ELEVEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST GROSSING MARKETS FOR GAMBLING ARE RED STATES: Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Indiana, Louisiana, Illinois. Montana, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, South Dakota. [United States Gaming Bulletin. Ernst Young 2005. Includes Native American gambling. ]

EIGHT OF THE TEN SMARTEST STATES ARE BLUE STATES: Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maine, Minnesota, Virginia, Wisconsin, Montana, New York. (On the other hand, the 10 states with the worst paid teachers are all red states. Out of the bottom states, eight out of ten are red states, a situation that might be explained by the fact that blue states place a higher premium on both education and a willingness to pay for education. [From Morgan Quinto Press. Based on 21 factors from its reference book Education State Rankings 2005-2006]
Read the rest here.

Perhaps the Bible Belt is too busy concentrating on the "evil" it imagines in others to notice that the problems it complains about most, are in the highest evidence in their own backyard.

Methinks they have forgotten a biblical passage that as believers, they should be aware of, and reminded of often:

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" - Matthew 7:3

In other words, they should clean up their own act before they try blaming the world's problems on everyone else excluding themselves.

"no short haired-yellow bellied son of tricky dicky is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me with just a pocketful of hope" - John Lennon

"Don't It Make Your Red State Blue"

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

God Belief - The Meme Thought Virus

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Image from : Atheists Online

MEME: (pron. `meem') A contagious information pattern that replicates by symbiotically infecting human minds and altering their behavior, causing them to propagate the pattern.

God belief is like a thought virus which sets up residence within our minds. It feeds on emotional insecurities, fear of the unknown, fear of death, psychological insecurities and our all encompassing egotistical states. It replicates itself into the minds of our children through the indoctrination and assimilation of culture, and mutates in following generations in order to survive.
Dawkins is right on the money when he says that religions claim a privileged position from which criticism is seen as blasphemy. And, it was, of course against the law in many nations for hundreds of years to in any way, suggest that religion was wrong. It has maintained this position of political privilege because it sleeps with the political parties of each country. It whores itself out in the political arena where it promises the votes of its followers and demands as payment for services rendered, political protection and, if it can get it, religious exclusivity.

"It is fashionable to wax apocalyptic about the threat to humanity posed by the AIDS virus, "mad cow" disease, and many others, but I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate." - Richard Dawkins (The Humanist, Vol. 57, No. 1)



Friday, November 24, 2006

"Gotta Have Faith?

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"Gotta Have Faith" - by AC Grayling

The repetition this week of the weary old canard that atheism is 'a faith proposition' shows that our archbishops need a lesson in semantics.

This is classified in logic as an "informal fallacy" known as a "tu quoque" argument. We understand that the faithful live in an inspissated gloaming of incense and obfuscation, through the swirls of which it is hard to see anything clearly, so a simple lesson in semantics might help to clear the air for them on the meanings of "secular", "humanist" and "atheist". Once they have succeeded in understanding these terms they will grasp that none of them imply "faith" in anything, and that it is not possible to be a "fundamentalist
" with respect to any of them.
Read more here.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain

Faith No More - "Epic"

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

John Saffron VS The Mormons

Watch @ onegoodmove - John Safran vs. The Mormons. or here on Youtube.


Look. I'm tolerant. I'm the Mahatma Friggin Gandhi of tolerance. I don't mind what you do. What you believe. How you dress or who you bang. To paraphrase Salt n Pepper, if you wanna take a guy, home with you tonight, it's none of my business. If you wanna be a freak and sell it on the weekend. It's none of my business. I just don't care. I don't mind who you worship. I don't mind where you do it. I don't care if you think that christ is the messiah. I don't care if you think that christ is the anti-christ. I don't care if you think that YOU'RE the messiah. I don't mind if you put on an ornage robe, shave your head and join a friggin suicide cult. Care factor - zero.

It doesn't worry me. Do whatever you want to do. Just don't knock on my door before midday on Saturday. Don't do it. I'm looking at YOU mormons. Now listen up, mormons. A lot of people would say that you are freaks. That you wear special underpants and worship some guy with magic glasses. That you are not proper christians. That in fact, you're a cult and that your theology compares unfavourably to the Raelians, The Branch Davidians and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. But not me. I think you're fine. You definitely don't make less sense than the catholics, muslims and buddhists.

However, the catholics don't come round bashing on my door on Saturday morning. The muslims and the buddhists don't come round bashing on my door on Saturday morning. Even the Salvation Army who rock up with their trumpets, bazoons, tubas and tamborine ensemble making more noise than Iron Maiden, have the common decency to wait until after lunch. But that's not for you mormons, is it. You're up bright and perky on Saturday morning after going to bed at 7:30 the night before after watching some "Benji Movie."

Well, I wasn't. Maybe I was out living a little. Maybe I was out till five in the morning drinking kalhua and milk and dancing to "Yaz and the Plastic Population." You didn't think about that, did you. You didn't factor "Yaz" into your little plan to ring my bell at eight in the morning. I don't remember that bit in The New Testament where jesus says unto his flock: " Go around and annoy the shit out of people, by bashing on their door." I must have overlooked Deuteronomy 13:11 - "Blessed is the man who goes around banging on people's doors at all hours of the morning because he truly is jesus's little friend." Listen mormons. I fair dinkum have put up with your crap for long enough. And seeing as you mormons seem so open to the concept of door to door belief pushing, well, it just got me to thinking.

(John flies to USA) - I've come to Saltlake City, Utah, the world capital of mormonism. The spiritual home of LDS, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I've got my pamphlets. I've got my copy of "Origin of Species". I've got my atheist badge. Let's do some good. As religious door knockers always travel in twos, I thought I would drag along my director, Craig Melville.
  • First mormon door - (Bell rings) "Hello. Could I take a moment of your time?" (Door shuts)
  • Next door - "Hello my name is John and this is Craig and we would like to take a moment of your time to talk to you about atheism. Would you be interested in that?" Woman's reply: "Well, actually no." John: "We want to talk to you about atheism and how it can change your life." Woman: "No no."
  • John talking to old man: " Us atheists believe that the bible isn't really true and that it's all just stories." Old man's reply: "I'm a bishop of the (indiscernible) church." John: "Well, have you ever considered atheism?"
  • John talking to another man: "We believe that the bible is just made up and it didn't really happen." (Old man starts hitting John with a broom.)
  • John talking to another man: "We follow the teachings of a man named Charles Darwin who's an evolutionary biologist. "
  • John talking to woman at door: "And he brought an amazing message to us. For example, did you know that your relatives were monkeys?
  • John talking to another woman at her front door: "Did you know that when you die that your body just decomposes into the earth and nothing happens. There's no soul. There's no heaven. God is meaningless, false and irrational."
  • Next door: " There's a lot of literature that backs up atheism. From the 1980's band XTC. "Dear god, you are always letting us humans down. The wars you bring, the babes you drown. And it's the same the whole world round. Dear god, I don't believe in you."
    Next door: "Just imagine that you're wasting your entire life going to church and it all adds up to nothing."
  • Next door: " This cognitive dissidence causes anxiety within you but the thing is, atheism can cure you of this anxiety by providing scientific explanations..."
  • NEXT door: " Oh, did we disturb you from your sleep?"
  • Next door: " Oh, sorry, were you doing something else? Were you enjoying your own private time and it was really intrusive to have someone come bashing on your door and push their beliefs on you?
  • Next door: Man speaking at door: "Did you understand what I said? This is inappropriate. Take us off your list."


  1. The Official John Safron Website
  2. John Safran

"Evangelism is the art of selling 'Get Out of Death Insurance Policies' to people who won't be able to use them BECAUSE they are dead."

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Top 10 Signs You're A Christian Fundamentalist

From: - ExChristian Net

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the"atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" --including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth ( 4.55 billion years) , but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a couple of generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs --though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that theremaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.


Fundamentalist Christianity
Christian Fundamentalism Exposed
Why The "Fundamentalist" Approach To Religion Must Be Wrong

"A characteristic of religious fundamentalism is to perceive the world as an arena of continuous battle and to nourish it with anger and the desire for revenge. " - Ilter Turkemen

And a different list from: - two or

You Might Be A Christian Fundamentalist IF...
  • If you think the most important aspect of the Ted Haggard story is that Mike Jones is a man. (I think that IS the most important aspect and I am an atheist.)
  • If you refuse to take a snake bite kit when hiking.
  • If you think "Hard Music" is music that's difficult to play.
  • If you use the words "thee, thou or fornication" in everyday speech (you can be doubly sure if you pronounce the latter word "fornification".)
  • If you purposely call Santa "Satan" and then coyly act as if it was an honest mistake.
  • If you believe that a fat preacher has the right to preach about the virtue of self-control.

And some suggestions from readers of my blog.

You might be a christian fundamentalist if : -

  • If you denounce homosexuality, but spend more time talking about it than even gay people do.
  • If you make a big deal about giving their life jacket to another passenger on a sinking ship because you think they can walk on water...
  • If, after being told there is only one god you accept from your monotheistic preacher that God is in Heaven and the Devil is in Hell.
  • If you think calling yourself a christian fundamentalist gives you the right to say or do what you want and disregard the beliefs of the entire world as Bush and his perverted version of fundamentalism has done.

Feel like adding to the list? Leave suggestions in the comments.

The Fundamentalist's Theme Song

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

"Rumsfeld Bites The Dust"

My reaction to the news that Donald Rumsfeld resigned.

Memorable Rumsfeld quotes: -

"I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started."

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." – on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (Where were they again exactly? )

"I believe what I said yesterday. I don't know what I said, but I know what I think, and, well, I assume it's what I said."

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know." (The ultimate dance in order to avoid saying anything.)

"There's another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist." - on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (Tsk tsk and people fell for that too.)

"I don't do quagmires."
"I don't do diplomacy."
"I don't do foreign policy."
"I don't do predictions."
"I don't do numbers."
"I don't do book reviews." (Sure you will.)

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Teapot Atheists"

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Watch "The Teapot Atheist" video at Onegoodmove.


Science can't disprove the existence of god but that does not mean that god exists. There are a million things we can't disprove. The philosopher Bertrand Russell had an analogy. Imagine there's a china teapot in orbit around the sun. You cannot disprove the existence of the teapot because its too small to be spotted by our telescopes. No one but a lunatic would say, "Well, I'm prepared to believe in the teapot 'cause I can't disprove it." Maybe we have to be technically and strictly agnostic, but in practice we are all teapot atheists.

But suppose that everybody in the society, the teachers, the tribal elders all had faith in the teapot. Stories of the teapot have been handed down for generations. It's part of the traditions of the societies, there are holy books about the teapot. Then, someone who said that they did not believe in the teapot, might be regarded as eccentric or even mad.

There's an infinte number of things like celestial teapots that we can't disprove. There are fairies. There are unicorns. Hobgoblins. We can't disprove any of those, but we don't believe in them anymore than nowadays we believe in Thor, Amon-Ra, or Aphrodite. We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us, just go one god further.


1. Richard Dawkins

2. Bertrand Russell

"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice very earnestly. "I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more." ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The Mad Hatter's "Unbirthday Teaparty"

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Ken Miller - On Apes and Humans


The second thing you saw at the trial was that when data was introduced at the trial which I and another witness introduced from whole genome sequencing , the ID advocates literally had nothing to say. We weren't asked questions in cross examination, the other side never brought it up, they never argued against it, they just left it.

Here's an example : - Many of you may know that a few months ago that the genetic code of the chimpanzee was published. Therefore we can compare our genome to these primate relatives. What do we find? I want to show you one striking finding that dates to about a year ago. You all know that evolution argues that we share a common ancestor with the great apes, the chimpanzees, the gorilla and the orangutan.

Well, if that's true, there should be genetic similarities and in fact there are. But there's something that's really interesting and has the potential, if it were true, to contradict evolutionary common ancestry. And that is that we have 2 fewer chromosomes than the other great apes. We have 46 and they all have 48. Now that's very interesting. Now what does that actually mean? Well, first of all, the 46 chromosomes that we have have, you got 23 from mom and 23 from dad, so its actually 23 pairs. These guys have 24 from each parent, so they have 24 pairs.

So everybody in this room is missing a pair of chromosomes. Now where did it go? Could it have gotten lost in our lineage? If it got lost, if a whole primate chromosome was lost, that would be lethal. So, there's only 2 possibilities. And that is, if these guys really share a common ancestor, that ancestor either had 48 chromozomes or 46. Now, if it had 48, 24 pairs which is probably true because 3 out of 4 have 48 chromozomes, what must have happened is that one pair of chromosomes must have gotten fused.

So, we should be able to look at our genome and discover that one of our chromosomes resulted from the fusion of 2 primate chromosomes. So we should be able to look around our genome, and you know, if we don't find it, evolution is wrong. We don't share a common ancestor. So how would we find it? Biologists in the room would know that chromosomes have nifty little markers. They have markers called centromeres which are DNA sequences which are used to separate them during mitosis and they have cool little DNA sequences on the end called telomeres.

What would happen if a pair of chromosomes got fused? Well, what would happen is that the fusion would put telomeres where they don't belong in the center of the chromosome and the resulting fused chromosome should actually have 2 centromeres. One of them might become inactivated, but nonetheless, it should still be there. So we can scan our genome, and you know what if we don't find that chromosome, evolution is in trouble.

Well, guess what? It's chromosome number 2. Our chromosome number 2 was formed by the fusion of 2 primate chromosomes. This is the paper from 'Nature' a little more than a year ago and I put up a little of the paper. I am sorry it's technical but look at what it says: " Chromosome 2 is unique to our lineage. It emerged as the result of the head to head fusion of 2 chromosomes which remain separate in other primates."

Those of you who have not kept up with how much we know about the genome should pay attention to this cause you will be amazed at how precisely we can look at things. The precise fusion site has been located at base number 114, 455, 823 - 214, 455,838. In other words within 15 bases. And the other thing you'll notice is multiple sub-telemeric duplications; the telemeres that don't belong and low and behold, the centremere which is inactivated corresponds to chimp chromozome number 13.

It's there. It's testable. It's confirms the prediction of evolution. How would ID explain this? Only one way. By shrugging and saying, "That's the way the designer made it. No reason. No rhyme. Presumably there is a designer who designed human chromozome number 2 to make it look like it was fused by the fusion of a primate ancestor."

I'm a roman catholic. I'm a theist in the broadest sense. I would say I believe in a designer but you know, I don't believe in a deceptive one. I don't believe in one who would do this to try to fool us. And therefore I think that this is authentic and I think it tells us something about our ancestors.


"If the question is put to me would I rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means of influence and yet who employs those faculties and that influence for the mere purpose of introducing ridicule into a grave scientific discussion—I unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape." - Thomas Henry Huxley

Hey! Hey! We're the Monkees!

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

The American Voters Comment On The Bush Administration

"For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds." - Willy Spearchucker

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Ted Haggard Comes Clean

HYPOCRITE : 1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

Matthew 7: 3-5 - "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? / Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye."

"The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem," Haggard wrote. "I am a deceiver and a liar. There’s a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life."

Listen to Paul Hipp singing "Meth And Man Ass" (The Huffington Post)

and visit Paul Hipp's blog at myspace

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Watch video of "Meth and Man Ass" on youtube