A Favorite Quote:

"We are made of 'Star-Stuff.' We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." --Carl Sagan

26 July 2008

PZ Myers Desecrates the Cracker: the Video

ROFLMAO! This video is simply hilarious.

25 July 2008

Crackergate: The End?

Well, as promised, PZMyers has put jesus out of his misery, that's assuming that the cracker that he "desecrated" was actually consecrated and transubstantiated. The essay that he wrote to accompany the picture of the so called desecration was very good. I especially liked the conclusion that nothing should be held sacred. And to illustrate that idea he included a page from the koran, and a page from Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. The last paragraph was the best:

By the way, I didn't want to single out just the cracker, so I nailed it to a few ripped-out pages from the Qur'an and The God Delusion. They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanity's knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality. You will not find wisdom in rituals and sacraments and dogma, which build only self-satisfied ignorance, but you can find truth by looking at your world with fresh eyes and a questioning mind.

You owe it to yourself to read PZ's complete blog entry.

So, is this the end of "Crackergate?" Well, the fact that the "Desecration" blog entry has over 2300 comments posted to it may be a clue.

22 July 2008

"Kiwi" a Video

I ran across this video on YouTube the other day and thought it was great.

Al Gore's Challenge

On 25 May 1961 John F. Kennedy made his famous challenge to the US to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Many at that time thought it impossible but on 20 July 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Now Al Gore has made an equally difficult challenge, one that is more critical to the survival of humanity:

Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.

Again, many are saying that this is not possible. And, while it may be very difficult, it is within our reach. After all, we managed to put a man on the moon with far less sophisticated technology than is available today.

This is so important. I hope that everybody will get behind Mr. Gore and push our government and industry leaders to make this challenge a reality. As Al said:

We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that has to change.

Here is Al Gore's speech in its entirety. I encourage you to watch the whole thing, it is very inspiring:

To get involved yourself go to WeCanSolveIt.org.

14 July 2008

The PZMyers Saga Continues

As you may know I am a reader of several blogs but my favorite is Pharyngula by Dr. Paul Z. Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota at Morris. He is a wonderful teacher and writer and I always enjoy his posts concerning biology and evolution. He is also a very outspoken atheist and always manages to say exactly what I feel when it comes to religion and the other superstitious silliness in our world.

Recently, he posted an entry about the Florida State University student, Webster Cook, and his run-in with the Catholic Church over the communion host and the fact that he left the mass with it instead of eating it. Mr. Cook drew the ire of Bill Donohue and the Catholic League (a fundamentalist Catholic organization). Dr. Myers was justifiably outraged over the treatment that Mr. Cook received, which included death threats, all over a little piece of bland bread.

At one point in his post PZ said,

Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers? There's no way I can personally get them — my local churches have stakes prepared for me, I'm sure — but if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I'll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare.

As a result, he is also receiving death threats as well as other nasty email and comments on his blog. And all because of something he wrote. Keep in mind, he hasn't actually done anything to a cracker!

Well, today he was interviewed by the Minnesota Independent concerning the whole mess. It's a good interview and really puts things in perspective.

This situation has given us another opportunity to see christian "love" in action.

09 July 2008

FOX Smears Obama

I never intended to use my blog as a political soapbox, but this is just too maddening to let go. The FOX network has been blatantly attacking Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, using racist and hate-filled comments; things like, "accidentally confusing" Obama's name with Osama, calling Michelle, Barack's "Baby Mama," or referring to Michelle as a terrorist. Not only is this just plain wrong but it's unethical and bordering on criminal. Here is a video that gives several more examples of this abuse:

MoveOn.org has a petition that you can sign that, when it reaches half a million signatures, will be presented to FOX at their headquarters. It will also bring this to the attention of FOX's advertisers (hitting FOX in their money-belt). If this makes you angry then click this link to sign the petition.

08 July 2008

The OUT Campaign

You've probably noticed the large scarlet letter "A" on left side of this blog. It stands for Atheist and is the symbol of the OUT campaign. The idea was started by Richard Dawkins. He has proposed that it's about time that we atheists, freethinkers, humanists, and other godless people come out of our closets and stand together. There are more of us than we think and if we started to speak out we could encourage others to join with us. And, we could be a voice for science and reason in a world of superstition and credulity.

The Wall of Separation

I've just added a new blog to my blogroll (below left). It is the official blog of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Check out the latest post... very intersting.

Graham Chapman Memorial

I just ran across this today. It's such a fitting memorial for Graham Chapman... funny and touching.

04 July 2008

One Nation, Indivisible!

Happy Independence Day! In honor of the day I did a little research on the idea that the USA is a Christian nation founded on Christianity. What I found is that this just isn't true. It's a lie that the fundi-wackos have been trying to pass off as truth for many years.

The most conclusive evidence that this is not a Christian nation comes from the US Constitution itself. The document that our government and laws are based on. Nowhere in it is there any mention of God, Jesus, Christianity, or any other religion. In fact, religion is mentioned only twice: In the 1st amendment it says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," which Thomas Jefferson interpreted in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of 1 January 1802:

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
While it is true that "separation of church and state" is not explicitly mentioned neither is "freedom of religion," and yet, both are implied by the 1st amendment. The other place where religion is mentioned is in Article VI, Section 3, ". . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

There is also much evidence for the secular nature of the US government to be found in the words of the founding fathers themselves. So Happy Birthday USA, one Nation, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.

01 July 2008

Happy Evolution Day!

Today is the 150th anniversary of the first public presentation of evolution by natural selection. On July 1st 1858 the works of both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace were presented at Linnean Society of London as a joint reading of their papers. You can read more about this at the Beagle Project. This is just the beginning of a great year to promote evolution and science in general as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of evolution and Charles Darwin's 200th birthday!