So It Took An Expert To Figure This Out?

Headline: Dying woman should have got Irish abortion

Well since an expert has weighed in on the matter, I guess we can all relax…right? How in the hell does it take an expert to make such an easy call as this one? Yes, she should have had an abortion, the fetus was dying, and killing the mother in the process. The problem here, is she was in a CATHOLIC hospital. That means NO abortions, NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES, you know because of the bible or baby Jeebus, or something.

This woman died because of religious doctrines that supercede morality? I would assume the moral thing to do would be to save the one that could be saved, and let the one that could not be saved, go. It is a natural process dying, it happens. It is unfortunate but in this case instead of being a singular tragedy, it was doubly so…  I was led to believe religion supposedly had the market cornered on morality, guess I was mistaken.

The article goes on to mention that certain things that should have been looked at, were not, things were missed. Again, I venture to say they were missed, because from the very beginning, no thought was given to save the mother, all efforts were geared towards the fetus. Why? Same as above. Catholic hospital, and the doctrines that go with it. If the church, any church or representative thereof, is going to convince anyone with a rational mind that they have morality on their side, they got lots of splainin to do.


Black Holes Galore


NASA’s Chandra observatory has with a recent observation, turned up several more black holes, than previously known, near the center of our closest galactical neighbor Andromeda. This survey has raised the number of known black holes there from 9 to 35.

One of the interesting findings, is that some are associated with globular clusters. Globs as they are appreciatively known by amateur astronomers, like yours truly, do not have that distinction in our own galaxy. At least as far as we know at this point in time, it is kind of difficult to observe your home galaxy in a detailed manner, due to the predicament of being located in said galaxy. Hard to get a distant perspective, plus the fact that all kinds of dust, and accumulated matter, make it difficult to peer inside our galaxy, making a thorough investigation difficult at best. The article goes on to explain that Andromeda’s central bulge is quite a bit bigger than our own, allowing more black holes to form. I doubt I will live long enough to see if there indeed is a chance of a glob in our galaxy sporting a black hole. It is the possibilities, and the desire to know, that keeps scientific investigation alive, and imaginations working overtime. (I think I am safe to assume, that not all of the existing globs in our galaxy have been discovered, or shown to not have a black hole. As always, I am open to evidence)

At any rate, I love to observe globular clusters, and galaxies when I’m cruising our galaxy on a moonless night, with my small yard cannon, a 12.5″ Newtonian telescope. Planets are fun too. Oh and planetary nebula’s, and double stars, and catching a stray meteor when I’m out there looking up, and supernova remnants, and open clusters, and stellar nursery’s, and yeah…I’m a geek.


New Study Indicates I Might not be a Narcissist

Heck, I thought I might be getting close to borderline narcissism what with having a blog to play with, but blogs aren’t even on the radar of this study. Apparently Facebook is the mirror for middle aged adults, and Twitter is a megaphone for late teens to college students. Shucks, I don’t even have a Twitter account, and my Facebook experience lasted all of 3 days.

As far as the study, heh… tell me something I didn’t know already. Seems to me like younger girls these days all have some sort of narcissism  complex, based on the total lack of respect for their parents or each other…and the young guys all seem to be vying for some sort of street cred as indicated by pants that are down to the knees, caps on sideways, tough guy attitudes and the use of a lingo incomprehensible to anyone outside their in group. As well as sharing the lack of respect for parents.*

…and get off my damn lawn!

* There are of course exceptions to my wide spread of the brush. I have seen some well behaved, mannered kids here and there, so it ain’t all bad. The bad though, seems to outweigh the good by a large margin. I can only hope that with life experience to broaden understandings and imprint a little wisdom, that some can grow out of it…and I’m sure many will. After all, much the same was going on when I was kid too, just different times and different faces in the crowd.

There’s a Kerfuffle Afoot

So, one of my replies to a poorly worded argument has elicited a response. Instead of pointing out my obvious (?), misunderstandings, the poster insinuates hostility , and to my reply to the original post here: a claim of missing the point, and a poke at my writing style.

Well, the first thing I have noticed from creationist apologists everywhere, is that when you don’t really have a good argument, resort to TONE, or an insinuated inability to “get the point”. The only response I can think of to that accusation is firstly, I am a LONG way from being hostile, nor have I indicated any hostility in any way. Perhaps I was a tad ornery to one blog poster, certainly NOT this guy, as can be seen clearly in my blog post titled Cruising the Blogosphere. To be clear, where I was ornery was with the blog post:  This particular post was so outrageous and so wrong, that yes, I was a tad hostile in my reply. …but NOT the post here, note this is the same link in my 1st paragraph above, the second one: …

At least I don’t see hostility there, what I see is a matter of fact approach that apparently makes SOMEONE uncomfortable. How about instead of complaining about tone, or indicating hostility where none exists, or accusing someone of missing the point without actually clarifying the point, you should try…oh I don’t know, CLARIFYING the point.

This authors writing style, for me, is like a meandering ride through the countryside, with random bits of this and that thrown together to somehow make a point later on in the paragraph, somewhat wistfully, as if there is some great underlying meaning that only an enlightened one can understand. Maybe that is a misinterpretation as well, I am certainly able and willing to concede a difference in writing styles. Anyway what I have done is try to pry out these points, and offer my own as a rebuttal. 

The author also goes on to insinuate that no attempt was made at meaningful engagement. Indeed what is an attempt at a meaningful engagement, if not a clear rebuttal to ones argument?

Let me make one thing clear, I am no stranger to making mistakes, in fact I pride myself at being able to admit when I am wrong, when the facts would indicate it. I patiently await the opportunity to do so. If I misunderstood what I was reading, please show me the err of my ways. I have been back, and read the post again, a couple of times, more slowly, trying to see where I could have gotten the wrong impression, but I am still of the opinion, that what I saw the first time, is still in there.





The Bad Astronomy blog ran by Phil Plait, is one of my regular stops every morning. This morning I was blown away by this photo of a supernova remnant. So much so, I decided to post it here. This supernova’s name, SNR 0519-69.0, seemingly docile enough of a description, belies it’s violent, recent past. This is one huge explosion and we are fortunate it is in one of the Milky Way’s dwarf galaxy companions, the Large Magellanic Cloud, and not right next door. Well as galaxies go it is right next door,  but far enough away not to give us any more than a beautiful panorama of a massive explosion.

Much more, and quite a bit better explanation, with a lot of the science to go with it…here:

I have been an amateur astronomer for a long time now, and two of the objects I like to hunt down and observe often are the Veil Nebula and M1, (Messier object # 1), both supernova remnants. This SNR 0519-69.0 is well out of reach of my modest land based telescopes. Heck, from my location I cant even see the Large Magellanic Cloud…We are so fortunate to have Hubble up there, still after all these years, bringing us fantastic pictures of the cosmos, and guys like Phil Plait to to give excellent accounts of the science behind them.


Cruising the Blogosphere

I haven’t been overly inspired lately with news items or local events, tripping my desire to write trigger. Sure there are floods and murder and mayhem on the loose, but nothing that begs me to respond. So I have been perusing blogs here at Word Press and some of my responses to some articles were IMO darn near blog worthy in their own right. The following are my responses to some blogs, each response will have the appropriate blog site link posted. It would take up a lot of space and time to try and chronicle it all here, and doubtful anyone would want to read through it all, if you are that bored hit the links for the full perspective..first up:

Here’s my take, I read blah, blah blah, “Science does not provide meaning” We live in a universe without meaning. This is a cold uncaring place that will  kill you dead, with no concerns about your beliefs, your family, your aspirations, or your desire to continue living. The universe, this world, does not care. We humans have emotions, we want to survive, we want to be with our kids, we want to experience life to its fullest, and we have ascribed meaning to a world devoid of it. Religion today is no better than the bone tossing shamans of centuries past. Simply an institution developed to take advantage of the human desire to live…and a half assed attempt to explain away the scary things. A security blanket for those afraid of the dark.

Then…blah blah blah “science is BAD” Then “science is both good and bad, therefore on equal ground with religion” Science has brought us many unique ways to kill, but is it science that uses these methods? Or is it someone with an axe to grind, or a vendetta to settle, or a war to win that uses them? Often as not religion is used as a justification to use the machines of science as a means of destruction. Science is an investigation for knowledge, where that leads can be good or bad, but it rarely starts off with bad intent. I am sure a few examples can be provided that show bad intent from the get go, such as the development of arms, but most scientific endeavors are a simple quest for knowledge, and you can’t lump them all in the same category.

Then blah blah, something about a debate with a perceived winner by the author, yay! I think?

Then blah blah blah specific scientific fields cannot “perceive the whole picture at any one point.” No, but now take all of the many branches of science, with many facts from each branch, lining up with facts from other fields, each validating the other, all leading to a consensus. Soon the big picture develops, with a much more meaningful definition of the reality we live in. “Evidence Based Reality”. This is the beauty of science.

Then, the one thing I agree with “Religions have always evolved, arisen out of other religions, and required responses to changing understandings and social realities.” Slow but sure, it takes centuries for religion to change, but it does. Many cannot see this simple truth, even religion evolves over time. Modern xianity is nothing like its beginnings. People seem to like the fact that they don’t need to offer bloody sacrifices anymore, but you never hear them talking about it. Heck, even the Catholic church, dogmatic as it is, has conceded evolution (though a tad misguided attribution to a god guided process). It is a shame Islam, appears to be entrenched in the dark ages. I hope at some point that one matures, but I see no hope of that in the near future, it would be nice if it could evolve a bit. Sooner the better but I am straying off topic. Yes, religion evolves, but at a snails pace, and never in a proactive way, but reactionary to changing times and only in an effort to save itself from declining membership, or to save face. Such a moral high ground eh?


I’m sorry, but that is one of the dumbest arguments I’ve ever heard.

Aging: I don’t recall anyone saying science could stop aging.
Getting Sick: can you say immunization?
Not Dying: can you say CPR?
Reproduction: can you say condom, or “the pill”?
Moral issues: really? can your dog stop these things?
Weather/Earthquakes: isn’t your dog responsible for these?
Look Into the Past: can you say telescope?
Abiogenesis: you are right, cant say for sure when or where, but can say it happened.

Most of your arguments are common fallacies. Mostly, “Argument from Ignorance”, “False Equivalencies” , and lets not omit outright lies. This argument is riddled with holes. You have achieved nothing here worth noting. Except a big patting yourself on the back for thinking you have all of the answers. The answers you claim do not exist, are out there, it is up to you to become more educated on the matter. I strongly doubt you have the capacity to do it. It would require reading some actual fact based sciency stuff, and not the babble.

Faith, believing that which has no evidence whatsoever to support it. Kinda like this blog post.


Great Post. I agree with your perspective entirely.

The comments that suggest science requires faith, is to me a bit misinformed. Science does expand into areas of unobservable probabilities (black holes, string theory), but this requires not faith, but a deep understanding of physics and math, that is way over my head. I trust those with the knowledge do do the physics and math, to come to a reasonable conclusion that may well be testable in the future. Those guys and gals can work it out, and I trust in their abilities. Is that faith? I think not. That is an assumption that people way more educated than I have the faculties to do their job adequately. Indeed we know now that black holes DO exist, they were once theoretical, but no more, and we can now see how matter interacts with them. I’d call that a scientific success. Faith is more a belief in something, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support it.

What about all the sciences such as geology, astronomy, genetics, biology, and all the rest of the “ologies”? Do they require faith? I think not. Science is a conclusion, based on observable, repeatable, verifiable, falsifiable, facts. Same can be said for atheism. Faith is for those without the reasoning skills or the desire to grasp the reality of science.

Any attempt to reconcile one with the other, is futile. Science is grounded in reality, science has the “E” word (evidence) to back it up, and not just a little evidence, tons of it. Faith as I said before, is a belief in something despite the fact there is no evidence to support it. They are polar opposites and not compatible…unless you want to discuss cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization.   I like this guy’s stuff.

and lastly:

The entire history of all religions is done by graduates of the well known institution MSU. Better known as Making Stuff UP. You don’t expect them to stop now, or start using well researched arguments do you?

It’s a house of cards based on out dated mythologies and made up stuff, that requires constant rationalizations to keep itself afloat. This is the only kind of science they are capable of. No facts necessary.

That concludes my recent journey’s in the blog ether world. I do regret the apparent necessity to constantly define faith, but it is so often used as a positive aspect of someones else’s perspective, or as an attribute of science, that it demands pointing it out from a rationalists perspective.