Sunday, December 13, 2009

How Observant Are You?

FYI This blogs picks on religion

Us science-ey, atheistic types get all sorts of arguments from religious people about why people "believe" something and one of the most common is they just know or they feel it etc, or that things have happened in their life they can't explain, which is really just a matter of the problem our human brain has with coincidences and the tendency to look for patters (which makes sense from an evolutionary perspective). But, what I really want to point out is that people in general, are very bad at observing the natural world and that we often selectively see what we want. This effects people's perspective - in fact many religions actively reject the idea of even trying to see the big picture by commanding that one not subject themselves to doubt or disbelievers etc....

This video isn't directed to religion in any way but it doesn't show how observant we really are (actually how bad we are). This is exactly why we need the scientific method (or maybe this is all just a social construct....oh another time) because trusting in our senses and observations alone fails most of the time. This also brings into question the reliability of eye witnesses as well, but thats another topic.

(PS and if you are wondering exactly how this relates to religion, it is that most religious people (especially fundamentalists) do not look at the big picture (compare their religion to others and seriously ask why one is better), they do not ask "what am I not seeing" that should be asked (evidence of biblical scholarship for example - who wrote what and when exactly), what evidence is there or not etc...)

For example most fundamental christians have no idea of the history of their own religion - like the actual date of Dec 25th for christmas itself which is related to a pagan holiday. In fact the details of christmas are a hodge-podge from the gospels since none of them give much detail, none tell what time of year, only one talks about a manger etc.... Not saying that theologists haven't tried to answer some of these - they have (although I think very poorly) but most people don;t even know the issues exist and are not even looking at the big picture.

In Fact, Bert Ehrman talks about the same thing in his book Misquoting Jesus, and Luke over at Common Sense Atheism discusses Ehrman's take on this.

Lets Sing Some X-Mas songs!

I found this over at Pharyngula and thought you might like it to start the season off right. Not overly anti-theistic btw:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Global Warming

There is a good blog over at Tuibguy on the problem with all of the global warming deniers (especially after the whole email-gate) and how they screw up the math. This classic Abbott and Costello video is very similar.... and I like Abbott and Costello anyway...

For example, The Island of Doubt has a great little edit to a paragraph Sarah Palin's latest speech on the issue and "corrected" it, which is educational in itself for those of you not up to date. I liked it and figured you wold too so here is the main part from it:

"I will begin with this paragraph:

The e-mails reveal that leading climate "experts" deliberately destroyed [deleted copies of] records, manipulated adjusted data to "hide the decline" in global select North American temperatures [tree-ring proxy data that conflicted with observational records], and tried to silence [challenge] their [non-expert] critics' by preventing them from publishing [competency and the wisdom of allowing flawed papers to appear] in peer-reviewed journals. What's more, [T]he documents show that there was no a real consensus even within the CRU crowd. [While s]ome scientists hadstrong doubts about the accuracy of estimates reliability of temperatures [proxy data] from centuries ago [the last three decades, estimates used to back claims that more recent temperatures are rising at an alarming rate, [the observational data since 1850 only confirms the science behind anthropogenic climate change].

Hmm. On second thought, that took too much work for a single paragraph, and now it says nothing very interesting. In any case, I don't have the time to conduct a similarly rigorous edit of the rest of the essay. Sorry to get your hopes up. Recommend you start over from square one. An introductory course in climatology would be a good idea before tackling this issue again."

So I have to clarify, Palin wrote an article for the Washington Post (why they would publish and op-ed piece by probably the least qualified person to write about scientific issues in general, I have no idea) but several people have critiqued - see this piece in the Washington Post by lan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's about perspective

Some of you may have seen or head about Kirk Cameron and Banana guy giving out free copies of The Origin of Species with a note about the "problems" with evolution. The onion pretty much sums it up the best (I would love to actually see the media present it as it really is):

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

DNA Activation!

I gotta thank my friend kim for the link on this one - I almost went into my PhD Comprehensive exams with NO IDEA about the 12 levels of DNA that we have, or DNA Perfection. I mean sure, I am studying all about DNA and evolution, how it works, what the processes are, etc.... BUT I had no idea that:

In actuality, the Human Genome is arranged into 12 dimensionalized mathematical programs, each of which set the blueprint for one double-helix chemical strand. Each double-helix strand blueprint is composed of 12 base-magnetic "female" base codes and 12 base-electrical "male" acceleration codes.

or this:

Due to an unnatural sonic control program in Earth's grids, only 4 Vector Codes have been active in biological earth since 25,500 BC, making the chemical DNA of Earth life appear to be a "Base 4 Genetic Alphabet".

But especially this:

The Earth distortions in history have actually created a planetary DNA distortion that has made every living organism’s DNA on the planet to falsely appear as Base-4, with only 4 chemicals. Humans are supposed to have 12 chemical nucleotide bases. This would allow us to have 144 physical chemical chromosomes as well, whereas now we only have 46.

I would totally screwed up any questions on chromosomes for sure....whew!

for a measly $400 bucks you can get your DNA Perfected too - they take PayPal! Oh but make sure you read the fine print: Not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure dis-ease or illness, nor is it to be interpreted, in any way, as a substitute for professional medical, surgical or psychiatric care or treatment.

Im gonna impress my committee with this!

God's voice

I one asked my ex what the difference was between people who hear voices and those that hear god (and how do you know which is which)? Amazingly, they have done a study and guess what? God sounds just like the person hearing them and ironically god's opinion of various matters was, wait for it - wait for it - the same as the individual's opinion!!! WOW - you would think that if they are all hearing god, that some of them would hear opinions that are different from their own - statistically speaking of course. But nope - as PZ said it - god is a sockpuppet. They got one thing right, god is definitely created in one's own image....oh wait that's assbackwards isnt it....