Monday, January 31, 2011

Atheism is not a religion

If you think Atheism is a religion then I have a cure for your problem. First you will need to collect some supplies. You will need a large vacuum chamber, a hose and a vacuum pump. Connect ‘em all up. Now you need to plug in the vacuum pump and quickly climb into the vacuum chamber, taking care to close and seal the hatch behind you. Now this may sound a little dangerous, but as you well know, the absence of a thing is still that thing. Absence of religion is still religion and absence of air is still air. You’ll be able to breathe just fine! Run along now. The rest of us will wait until you come back.
Well, actually I’m not going to wait. I suspect those folks might be a while getting back. If you’re still here reading, then I assume you don’t need to be cured of the silly belief that Atheism is a religion. You must instead be interested in why I would write about something as obvious as the fact that Atheism is not a religion. As you might have guessed, the slick disinformation campaign operated by the religion industry aggravates me just a bit. I view the claim that Atheism is a religion as just another lie told to keep gullible people confused and protect the profitable business of religion. The difference between Atheism and religion is that Atheism doesn’t make up stuff to answer supposed questions. No fairytales. No mythology. No unicorns. Just the facts, Ma’am!

Publicity banner #4

A fellow counter-protester at the Catholic empire’s “West Coast March for Life” noted a grammatical error on one of the other publicity banners. Oops! Can’t have that – Atheists are supposed to be the intelligent ones. So reordering that banner with correct grammar. Because of all the positive comments on the three original banners I decided that while I was ordering anyway, that I would go ahead with this fourth design.

Hopefully the banners will get under the noses of the religious fundamentalists, “creationists,” and those other delusional folks I see posting their irrational bibble babble across the Internet.

Monkeys in Government: Congressman Jack Kingston

Just saw Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) repeatedly deny that his ancestors included some in common with monkeys. He tried several gambits which are popular with “creationists.” One gambit was that if evolution took place over the millions of years claimed by the theory of evolution then there would be a lot more fossils. Jack thinks there should be more fossils. This demonstrates an utter lack of understanding of the natural sciences and the “big picture.” First of all the entire world economy is fueled by the fossil record. Every bit of coal and every drop of petroleum extracted from the planet was once part of a living plant or animal. There is a reason why coal and oil are called “fossil fuels.” The fossil record is huge. Now in fairness Jack was probably referring only to bones. But if one wishes to consider only bones then they must consider the odds against any particular specimen being preserved. The odds are overwhelmingly against it. Most carcasses are destroyed by scavengers. The relative few carcasses which get buried quickly enough to be preserved are then subject to destruction by massive recycling processes which constantly reshaped the continents. Land is uplifted at the edges of continents by the movements of tectonic plates which form the planet’s crust. Then erosion breaks down the resulting mountains and carries the sediment to the sea. These processes efficiently erase huge amounts of the geological record and any fossils contained therein. One must also consider that fossils which remain buried are also effectively out of reach of scientists. Fossils only become available to scientists when erosion removes most or all of the overlying layers. If erosion exposes fossils and scientists do not quickly find and recover the fossils then those fossils are lost to scientific cataloging and study. When one considers all these factors it is clear that the fossil record which we have collected is actually amazingly large and complete.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

$1000 Prize for Evidence Disproving Evolution

I had planned to wait until February 13th to announce this, but there is so much idiocy out there that I have decided to go ahead early. I will award $1000 to the first person presenting unambiguous evidence which supports “Creation Science” or “Intelligent Design Theory” or which disproves certain conclusions published at or which disproves the Theory of Evolution. The governing rules will be posted at the website. Here are the particulars. The $1000 will be presented to the first person who presents unambiguous evidence which
1) Disproves the modern understanding of the theory of evolution, or
2) Disproves certain conclusions published at, namely that religions evolve according to rules similar to those driving evolution of computer viruses and the evolution of life, that the resulting religions have acted and continue to act as a significant selection pressure on the human gene pool, and that as one consequence of that selection pressure, the human gene pool has been skewed toward brains with a genetically mediated predisposition to harbor religion.
3) Proves “Intelligent Design Theory” (Prize award only for proving the original “Intelligent Design Theory” not my version as defined in the Essay “The Irony of the proof for Intelligent Design Theory,” because I’ve already “proven” that version!), or
4) Proves “Creation Science.”
Evidence presented must be “scientific” in nature, where “scientific” means some combination of repeatability, knowledge of provenance, or other characteristic of the evidence which proves its scientific validity. In particular, evidence is not “scientific” if it is self-referential or relies on “circular logic.” For example, “creationists” often advance the Christian Bible as evidence of “God” and “creation.” The “Christian Bible” is in fact nothing more than evidence of the syncretic evolution of religion. The history of the “Christian Bible” reveals multiple authors and unknown provenance of the various writings which have been bound together. Evidence presented must be presented publically and be subject to scientific scrutiny and inquiry. For example it took a very long time to prove the “Shroud of Turin” was a fraud perpetrated by charlatans centuries after the purported time frame of the alleged crucifixion. This delay in getting at the facts was because legitimate scientific scrutiny and testing was not allowed by the Catholic owners of the forgery.
An example of evidence disproving evolution would be fossils found “out of order” in the geological record. For instance if fossilized primate bones were found embedded in sedimentary rocks which also contained fossilized bones of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Even better would be any fossilized bones found in igneous rocks as that would basically disprove central tenets of geology along with biology. Of course I am very confident that such things will not be found (or easily forged).
Why? It is my aim to shame and educate. If successful then some “creationists” will be shamed into silence as they try and fail to claim the $1000. Hopefully one or more of these attempts can be elevated to public “spectacle” and thereby serve to educate people who might otherwise be taken in by the slick lies of “creationists” such as those seen in the “Creation Museum.”
Prize offer void in jurisdictions where it is unlawful or regulated.

Prayer is a Total Cop Out

The Christian prayer ritual is utterly ridiculous – it enables people to believe they've done something for the poor, hungry or afflicted and get a big hit of self righteousness without actually doing anything. They even get to close their eyes and rest whilst supposedly doing this noble act.

Venn Diagram for Religion, Stupidity, and Politics

Love this graphic from Saint Gasoline:

I imagine if there were room then the intersection of “Politics” and “Religion” would have included the Spanish Inquisition and the Government of Iran in addition to the Dark Ages.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Evolution vs. Vegas

Silly “creationists” simply aren’t smart enough to understand evolution. Evolution is like going to Las Vegas. The outcome appears random when the cards are shuffled or the dice are rolled. But somehow on average most people leave way more money in Vegas than they take home. This is because there are underlying rules which favor “the house.” Evolution is like that – there is an underlying rule which heavily favors whatever worked best in the last version and this drives life toward genetic combinations which are best at getting copied. On average “the house” wins and on average the best replicators either consume, starve, or crowd out less efficient replicators. This simple logic even applies to the evolution of religion. That is the central theme at – please go have a read!

Related Education News

Recent news regarding science education in the U.S.: “Just 34 percent of fourth-graders, 30 percent of eighth-graders, and 21 percent of 12th-graders are performing at or above ‘proficient’ in the most recent snapshot from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.” This appalling news is very likely related to the fact that 13% of U.S. high school biology teachers actually push creationism in the classroom. And it certainly didn’t help that the full force of the Bush regime was brought to bear against science. This was done to give cover to pollution profiteers and thus feed the greed – apparently the other major religion in the U.S.

13% of U.S. Teachers Push "Creationism"

Just reading the appalling news that 13% of high school teachers in the United States push “creationism” and it variants in the classroom. No wonder we are falling behind other nations in science and technology. Filling the minds of young people with fairytales and mythology is grossly irresponsible. All these proselytes masquerading as “teachers” should be fined, fired, stripped of their teaching credentials and jailed! If an Atheist teacher pushed the cult of Pastafarianism in the classroom then I’m sure there would be serious repercussions for the teacher. Why do the big cults get all these special rights?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Publicity banner #3

Here is the third banner – printed on a 3’ x 10’ piece of vinyl and suitable for carrying at parades and taking to protests. It made its debut at the Catholic empire’s “West Coast March for Life” on February 22nd.

This billboard is not insulting

Bill O’Reilly has accused David Silverman and American Atheists of “insulting” religion with this billboard. However, the truth is never insulting. To illustrate this point let us assume that Bill O’Reilly had the intelligence to be a doctor and had in fact earned his PhD in applied medicine. We will further assume that the erstwhile “Doctor” O’Reilly has a thriving medical practice. One day he enters an examining room and is confronted with the following scene. The man is sitting there nearly naked. “Doctor” O’Reilly is first taken aback by the voluminous folds of adipose tissue cascading across the examining table. As “Doctor” O’Reilly is recovering from the shock of seeing all that naked fat he smells something burning. It is at this moment that “Doctor” O’Reilly realizes the patient is smoking and is just now tapping the ashes of a cigarette into an empty beer can. Various wrappers lying near the morbidly obese patient suggest he has just consumed several “super size me” fast food meal combos. “Doctor” O’Reilly – always mindful of his patient’s feelings is now faced with a conundrum. He may choose to “insult” the patient by pointing out all the insalubrious habits which will soon kill the patient (and push healthcare costs higher for the rest of us). Or “Doctor” O’Reilly may “politely” ignore all the facts and through his silence give the patient a clean bill of health.

This is analogous to Atheists telling society that it is ill with religion. In fact humanity is about to O.D. on religion. “Christians” reading this will immediately take offense and start blubbering about “persecution” and all the usual tripe. This is their version of denial – just as the morbidly obese cigarette smoker will deny his addictions to nicotine and fattening foods. “Christians” and other persons infected with religion will try to point to all the good which comes from religion. Yet any humanist is evidence that “good” need not have any connection with religion. In fact it can be easily argued that the humanist is far more moral than the “Christian” – the humanist requires no promise of paradise or threat of eternal torment in lakes of fire before doing what is “right” and “good.”

Religion is bad for humanity and the planet upon which we live. First religion demands that we all be “fruitful and multiply.” This causes overpopulation. This problem pales in comparison to another evil of religion. The people most likely to fall prey to the treachery of religion are predisposed to belief in fairy tales. This propensity to believe in the unbelievable spills over to cause other irrational beliefs. If only more people carried guns then fewer people would die from guns. Drill! Baby! Drill! “Global Warming” is a hoax perpetrated by socialist and communists! If I strap dynamite to my body and kill some “infidels” in a suicide attack then I am guaranteed a place in paradise. If I give my church enough money then I can become a “fully functioning Thetan” or better yet become a god with my own planet to rule over after Judgment Day.

Because of these irrational beliefs people with religion procreate far more often than people without irrational beliefs – and that tilts the gene pool away from genes for rational minds in favor of genes for irrational minds. It is this selection pressure exerted by religion which dooms humanity.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lying Christians #1

I was at the Catholic’s “West Coast March for Life” earlier today. I heard many lies. But I am going to focus on one. This lie was most often posed as a question. The most common form of the lie was something like this: “Why do you want to kill babies?” The presumption (and lie) is that anyone opposed to the Catholic empire imposing its will over everyone is in favor of killing babies (abortion). This is about as delusional as other propaganda issuing forth from the Catholic empire. The truth is that I and people like me are opposed to abortion. But we are different than Catholics because we believe in going after the causes of abortion and not the symptom of abortion. Women typically seek abortion for one of several reasons. One common reason is that some man conned her into a sexual liaison, probably telling her “forever” when he meant until he achieved gratification. The woman is then cast aside with no way to support herself, no health insurance, and no partner to help raise the child. Some women may have been sexually assaulted – by a stranger or by a trusted relative. If there were no rape, no incest, and no broken promises then that would greatly reduce the number of women seeking abortions. Another reason why women seek abortions is related to birth defects caused by all the toxins to which our society subjects women. These toxins cause spina bifida and other serious birth defects. If we as a society reduced the toxins and improved healthcare for women then another large percentage of abortions would be eliminated. So as usual “conservatives” mistake a symptom – in this case abortion – for a problem and then attempt to do something about the “problem” while irrationally ignoring the actual problem and its underlying causes. If Catholics really wanted to reduce abortions then Catholics would work to eliminate rape, to eliminate incest, to stop men from lying to women, to reduce toxins in the environment and to provide adequate healthcare for all women.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Publicity banner #2

Here is the artwork submitted for printing as another 3’ x 10’ vinyl banner – suitable for carrying at parades and taking to protests. In fact these banners have arrived and made their debut at the counter protest march against the Catholic empire’s “West Coast March for Life” in San Francisco earlier today.

Friday, January 14, 2011

“Reverend” Fred Phelps – Closet homosexual?

Do not be surprised when the “Reverend” Fred Phelps has his very own “Ted Haggard” moment. There is some enlightening folk wisdom among homosexual men. One bit of this folk wisdom is that the less secure a man is in his own heterosexuality the less comfortable he will be with homosexuality. Men who are less comfortable with homosexuality compensate with open hostility toward homosexuals. “Reverend” Fred Phelps is obviously very hostile toward openly homosexual men. Homosexual men often refer to these openly hostile men as “three beer queers” or “six beer queers.” This represents an estimate of the amount of alcohol needed to lower inhibitions to the point where repressed homosexual desire gets the upper hand. Based on all the loud anti-gay rhetoric it is clear there is a lot of repressed homosexual desire out there. A logical extension of Darwin’s Theory of evolution even reveals the most likely reason why this is so. In short religion acts as a section pressure on the gene pool of humanity. Religion skews the gene pool to favor genes for brains which are most likely to be controlled by religion. One characteristic which favors control by a religion is a heightened sensitivity to guilt – and built in guilt triggers. If you are skeptical about this conclusion or want more details then spend some time at the website.

Publicity banner #1

Here is the artwork submitted for printing as a 3’ x 10’ vinyl banner – suitable for carrying at parades and taking to protests.

Christian Hypocrisy in the news

Several weeks ago – before I started this blog – I read an article which described tensions between Beijing and the pretentious prelate of Rome. The presumptuous pontiff was apparently in a snit because China dared to appoint a bishop of its own choosing. The article quoted a Vatican communiqué regarding Beijing’s supposed transgression against the Catholic empire. “The persistent desire to control the most intimate area of citizens' lives, namely their conscience, and to interfere in the internal life of the Catholic church does no credit to China,” and then implied some sort of cowardice on the part of the sovereign nation of China. Did you notice the hypocrisy? It was truly bizarre to read that the Catholic empire had the nerve to complain about anyone wishing to “control the most intimate area of citizens’ lives.” Beijing doesn’t want to share that power with Rome – and Rome should know exactly how that feels because essentially they are in a snit over having to share power with Beijing. It is actually worse than that – the Vatican has surely plumbed new depths of hypocrisy with its statement. I say this because the Vatican is always trying to assert control over the lives everyone – including people who do not choose to affiliate themselves with the Catholic empire. The pompous Pope is always going on about condoms, abortion, and demands discrimination enshrined in law for homosexuals. China was merely moderating Rome’s influence over Chinese citizens – citizens who listen to the Catholic empire of their own free will. I’d say Beijing had the moral high ground – its actions probably serve to stifle dissent, but its actions also protect its citizens from the scourge and scam which is the Catholic empire.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gotta love this graphic!

There is some very amusing stuff mixed with all the thought contagion on the World Wide Web. I liked this bit well enough to take the time to recreate it as a vector file. That means I could easily have it printed really big with no “fuzziness.”

Lying “Creationists” #1

Lying creationists keep telling us that The Theory of Evolution means “everything is randomness” and that this is reason to believe in an “intelligent designer.” Well, evolution is about as random as losing money at a casino. If one goes to the casino everything might first appear to be random – there are randomly shuffled cards, spinning roulette wheels, and dice being thrown. Yet there must be something making operation of the casino profitable. The something which makes the operation profitable is a set of underlying rules which favor the house. Thus on average each visitor looses much more money than they “win.” This pays the electric bill for all that glitz. Evolution also has underlying rules which favor certain outcomes. One could consider that each new offspring and each new seedling as a “roll of the dice” by mother nature. Except that mother nature is rolling load dice! The dice she rolls are heavily weighted in favor of genes and combinations of genes which have worked in the past. So yes, evolution involves a sort of “randomness” but nothing like the “randomness” claimed by creationists.

Welcome to Origin of Religions

This blog is an adjunct to – a project which aims to explain the origin and diversity of religion just as Darwin’s Origin of Species explained the origin and diversity of life. Hopefully this knowledge will reduce the power and influence of religion. This is important because religion imperils the future of humanity and much of life on Earth. This statement may seem to be over-reaching, but read and this blog and you will surely change your mind. Thanks for reading and praised be the Flying Spaghetti Monster!