The Rage Against Women Continues

When is the last time you had a WTF? moment? For me it was just a little while ago when I saw this on my Iphone. I know Mak had just done a post on X-ian love, well here you go Mak, a great example.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/papuanewguinea/11623788/Woman-accused-of-sorcery-axed-to-death-in-Papua-New-Guinea.html

It pains me to see women continually demonized by slack jawed fundamentalists. Clearly the bible is a good book in this case. Right? It does appear to be their justification for brutal murder. I would urge everyone to read the whole story, but the short of it is, people thought that certain women were responsible for a measles outbreak. Because they were witches. Of course we all know the babble says we should not suffer any witches. So the good x-ians they are, they went about not suffering witches, in a most brutal barbaric fashion. That’s what I call some good x-ians there… You don’t have to be religious to hate women, but it sure seems to help.

Oh, apparently they paid a witch finder to seek out these witches. Wait, what? Yep a witch finder. How does one become a witch finder exactly? What is wrong with people? I swear every day goes by I think more and more we are all doomed to the ignorance of the many.

P.S. If you are not much of a fan of WTF stoopid, do not read the comments there. Because many of them are just that.

Quote of the Month

I am feeling a bit whimsical today, but the quote is one to live by. I had heard this one many years ago and have no idea who came up with it. With no further ado:

“Never believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.”

If there were such a thing as a skeptics bible I think this one would be embedded somewhere in chapter one.

Those Poor Wittle Christians

Some kid in Singapore was just found guilty of insulting x-ians. What a joke. X-ians insult themselves.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/05/12/singapore/27161987/

I guess it’s better to be found guilty of insulting those pathetic x-ians in Singapore than it is to be a free thinking blogger in Bangladesh. I’m sure most of my regular friends here will have already seen this.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/12/asia/bangladesh-blogger-killed/

There is no place in this world for people who feel so insulted that they feel the need to defend their non existent gods. If their gods were so hot, they could damn well defend themselves. Right after they showed up of course.

Religion deserves ridicule. It literally has nothing going for it but “we said so, therefore it is true.”  That’s all they have got. They have built their empires, their hopes, their dreams and desires upon a foundation of nothing. Then they demand respect? They demand not to be insulted? They demand to be taken seriously? When you silly religiots stop believing in your invisible friends, then perhaps you can sit at the table with the grownups. Then perhaps we can take you seriously. Then perhaps you deserve some respect. Until then, you deserve all of the mock and ridicule you get. And then some.

I should add, that I don’t make a habit of insulting anyone. Religious or otherwise, I got no beef with anyone who wants to be religious. Right up to the point where you want to legislate your religion upon me. Right up to the point where you want your fantasies taught in school. Right up to the point where you make fools of yourselves for being insulted.

Let’s Slow This Thing Down A Little Bit…

The universe that is. According to a Peter A. Milne of the University of Arizona, the standard for measuring universe acceleration, the type 1A supernova, is not quite as standard as they initially thought. There are at least two types of type 1A supernova detected in the recently accumulated data.

Apparently the trick, the key to the new data was looking at the supervovae in ultraviolet light. There is a different aspect noticed between ultraviolet and visible light. They detected this difference with data from Swift, NASA’s orbital satellite with ultraviolet detectors, and compared them to observations from Hubbles visible light observations. The difference appears to be, and I’ll quote the source, first with our old data:

“The faraway supernovae should be like the ones nearby because they look like them, but because they’re fainter than expected, it led people to conclude they’re farther away than expected, and this in turn has led to the conclusion that the universe is expanding faster than it did in the past.”

Then with the new data:

“As you’re going back in time, we see a change in the supernovae population,” he added. “The explosion has something different about it, something that doesn’t jump out at you when you look at it in optical light, but we see it in the ultraviolet.

“Since nobody realized that before, all these supernovae were thrown in the same barrel. But if you were to look at 10 of them nearby, those 10 are going to be redder on average than a sample of 10 faraway supernovae. (edit: Referring to red shift/blue shift, basically red shift means it is moving away from us and blue shift moving towards us. There are  numerical increments that determine how far away an object is based upon its brightness. Which means we were getting false assumptions because of wrongly expecting the supernovae were very similar)

The authors conclude that some of the reported acceleration of the universe can be explained by color differences between the two groups of supernovae, leaving less acceleration than initially reported. This would, in turn, require less dark energy than currently assumed.” (end quote)

What this all amounts to is, the universe while it is still expanding, may be expanding slower than we thought. They still have to crunch the numbers to see how much slower we are talking about. It also means we might get closer to understanding the amount of dark matter there is out there. As I understand it, with the previous observational data, there is too much dark matter to accurately account for. This finding could help resolve that issue. Which is cool, I’m always happy to see a missing piece of a puzzle fall into place. Especially when that piece gets us closer to understanding the things we don’t yet know. I came across this story @ Science Daily but the original source is here:

http://uanews.org/story/accelerating-universe-not-so-fast

Superstition Lives in the Strangest Places

I was at a friends place a few days ago. He had a couple of friends there I did not know, and the conversation turned to gremlin bells. They talked for a few minutes about the where and the whats about one of these things and I was at a loss to what they were discussing, and finally I said “what the hell are you talking about?”

Someone pulled one out of their pocket for me to look over, and I tried and probably not too well, to hide my skepticism which was probably oozing from my pores, as I looked it over. I was able to muster something along the lines of “that’s cute.” Then my friend pointed to the one hanging from his Harley Davidson, and while I have looked at the bike a few times, I never noticed the little bell thingy hanging from the bottom of it. Sure enough he had a gremlin bell in the shape of a tiny hand grenade hanging there.

So, my obvious question was “what the heck are they for?” I was informed in short order about gremlin bells. I was told they keep the road gremlins from causing equipment malfunctions and other road hazards… I tried and not too well, to feign a mild interest in the subject, and all the while was a little dumbfounded upon the whole topic. I honestly don’t know the religious leanings of this person and his wife, they don’t have obvious religious symbols decorating their surroundings, and the topic of religion has yet to come up, which in my opinion is a good thing. So I have assumed that they are only slightly religious, if that. And I have seen no need to bring it up and possibly ruin my association with them. In other words, what I don’t know can’t hurt me. And I’d rather keep it that way. The thing is though…

You just never know what kind of weird little superstitious oddities might jump up and bite you in the ass when you are out there among the people you might know. I kept having the insane urge to ask them if any of them had ever actually seen a road gremlin, but managed to keep my ornery-ness in check. At least it turned out to be good blog fodder. I will leave it at that.

So, you think I’m crazy?

http://www.gremlin-bells.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=20

http://samhoustonpost95.org/Legend%20Of%20The%20Gremlin%20Bell.pdf

What do you think now? Looks to me like a good story to sell gremlin bells to superstitious monkeys. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and hope it doesn’t come up again…

Quote of the Month

I decided to make some time to get a post in, I have been awfully “otherwise busy” with life of late, and my blog posting has suffered from the malady. I didn’t even get a Quote of the Month in last month, for which I feel like a lazy scalywag. So, I thought perhaps I’d look for a good quote this time, and I figured Hitchens should have some good ones out there. While I was researching Hitch, I stumbled across this quote.

It is by of all people, Bruce Willis. Now I will have to admit I am a fan of Bruce W. I like every movie I have seen him in and would dare say some of those movies are classics. Even if I have seen his movies, I usually don’t mind watching them again if nothing else is on, there is just something about his characters that seems to ring true.

Anyway, the quote:

bruce-willis-on-religion

In my personal religious history, I have occupied several positions through the years, including vaguely favorable of religion (deist), to attempted acceptence of religion (wanna be religiot), to I’m not so sure about all of this crap (agnostic), to an out and out atheist. At some point in my agnostic phase I pretty much felt exactly and Mr. Willis does here. As I still do today.

The biggest problem with this quote, is that religions in general aren’t dying out quite quick enough to suit me. Though the latest numbers, according to new data samples is favorable. Perhaps in my childrens, grandchildrens lifetimes there will be a marked decrease in the influence of that ancient mind fuck known as religion. I can only hope for the sake of humanity, religion goes ahead and dies its painfully agonizingly slow death. With few if any around to mourn its loss.

Clearly There Must Be Something Wrong With This Study

I can’t quite put my finger on it, oh wait now I see it. This study does not jive with what any of my readers would already know. The study title and its claim?

“Nearly 70% of evangelicals do not view religion, science as being in conflict.”

http://news.rice.edu/2015/03/13/nearly-70-percent-of-evangelicals-do-not-view-religion-and-science-as-being-in-conflict/

Firstly if 70% of evangelicals do not see a conflict, then they are simply very good at deluding themselves. This must be the major determining factor at play here, which would offer a meaningful explanation for the result. You could probably throw in a questionable sample issue among other things that must be skewing things.

This finding is biased, or incorrect in some fashion. I have seen too much to clearly indicate that the claim here does not fit the evidence. When you have buffoons all over the country denying evolution, decrying climate science, screaming they didn’t come from no monkey, claiming fossils are of the devil, and claiming their magic book is factual, I think there is some apparent conflict with the study.

When you have an entire political party making outrageous claims clearly against the evidence, and then when questioned resort to “I am not a scientist” I think we have a problem with this study.

When you have an entire nation full of hateful, bigoted, homophobic, racist, assholes who claim their bible is the source of their inspirations, I think we have a problem with this study.

When we have potempkin village science pretenders with religious based ideologies, building enormous facades dedicated to the denial of science and evolution, I think we have a problem with the study.

Anyone want to help me look for a grant to do a better study?

EDIT:  Son of a bitch. I just noticed the study was done with a grant from the Templeton Foundation! Now I get it…

NUTHER EDIT: I left a comment there, I wonder if it will stay up?

AND ANOTHER EDIT: Since my comment hasn’t been posted yet (if ever) over there at the source of this bogus study, I thought I’d drop a rough recreation (didn’t save the original) of my post there, here.

“Please explain then the existence of AIG, The Discovery Institute, The Templeton Foundation, And the ICR.

Oh wait, I just noticed your study was done with a grant from Templeton. Case closed. Major fail.

Perhaps you should go back to scratch and start over. This time without using a grant from an institution dedicated to blurring the lines between faith and evidence based science.”

I got a shiny new nickel says my comment will not get posted. :)