Saturday, February 25, 2006


I was sitting at the bar minding my own business when a good old friend of mine sat beside me. We began to talk and the conversation somehow went into the subject of spirituality. My friend said, "...whether or not you believe in god, you should at least admit there is a spiritual side of life." I disagreed and said there doesn't have to be anything spiritual about life, but if you do good things, good things tend to happen... etc.

Well it was about then when someone overheard us and made the comment that he didn't like that I said there is no god. I told him that I never said there is no god, only that I don't believe there is a god. He argued that I said there is no god again, then someone else from the other side of the room chimed in and said something about me being an idiot and telling the first guy not to talk to me because - "he is a lost cause, he doesn't believe". I told this guy that I'm willing to talk about it and hear what he has to say. He said, "I don't want to talk about it. I think you're a piece of shit for not believing in god".

That is when I realised that I was about to get into a fist fight unless I just dropped the subject. I decided to ignore the eavesdroppers and lower my tone and turn to my old friend for more talk about doing good things.

Whew! I thought about the encounter later and realized that those angry people were displaying the same emotions as the muslims when they burn down embasys over cartoons. Violence in the name of religion - what lunacy!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ten Thousand Clergy Endorse Evolution

The courts have struck down teaching Intelligent Design (ID) in public school science classes, however that doesn’t mean it’s dead. Its proponents are likely just regrouping and preparing a different strategy. Scholars in both the scientific and religious circles agree that evolution has been tested and accepted as a viable explanation to our existence. A letter speaking out against ID has been sponsored by a retired pastor/professor and signed by more than 10,000 other clergy. Still the majority of not-so-scholarly religious people see evolution as a threat to their security. The average church member has heard sermons hailing that the evil atheists are trying to eliminate god from the world. This is not the case. Atheists are not evil; they simply don’t believe there is enough evidence to support the claim of a supernatural omniscient creator. There is a multitude of evidence that supports the evolution theory, and it has been studied, reviewed and changed by the presentation of new evidence all the time. You could say that the evolution theory evolves as new evidence is discovered. This is the basis for science and should be taught as a good thing in schools. We should not be teaching children that a huge controversy exists between scholars about evolution. It simply isn’t true. Only uneducated and bias zealots with an agenda to propel their beliefs into our government scoff at evolution. Read today’s article from CNN.

On another note: My blog surpassed the 1000 hit mark today! Thanks to all who have read and commented.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Science Proves Faith Wrong - Again

I remember hearing stories of Mormon families going on to Native American reservations and actually stealing children in the name of their religion. They believe that Native Americans were direct descendants from a lost tribe of Israel. It seems that a fundamental selling point for the Mormon religion has been proven wrong by DNA tests. Native Americans actually migrated from Asia. (I could have told you that!) This would seem to be a death rattle for the Mormons, but religions don’t necessarily rest on scientific evidence but on mystical experiences instead. Don’t take my word for it, read about it here.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Willie Lynch Letter - Revisited

Back in October I watched the movie "Animal" and commented on the plight of black americans on my blog. Today, someone commented, on that archive, that the letter by Willie Lynch was a 20th century fabrication created with the intent of "race-baiting and hate-mongering". The commenter was anonymous and said that a simple google search would prove this.

So I googled "Willie Lynch" and found hundreds of articles seamingly substantiating the validity of the letter.

Willie Lynch, as I have learned by reading the top web sites that came up in the google search, was a british slave owner, who in 1712, delivered a speech on the banks of the James River at the colony of Virginia. This speech, later a letter, was basic instructions on how to train and control the black slaves, and basically treat them like livestock. The text of the speech can be read here, with a longer version here, and a still longer and scarier version here.

I decided to refine my search to see if my commenter's statement was true. So I googled "Willie Lynch Faked". Not surprisingly, very few hits came up, but one did stand out. It was actually the only hit that had anything to do with the topic at hand. It was a long list of archived radio programs that you can purchase from LIBRadio. It is a radio station/website devoted to the topic of "Living In Black".

The blurb for the CD by Keidi Obi Awadu states, "despite it's widespread reference, the facts appear to be irrefutable that the so called "Willie Lynch Letter is a 20th Century fabrication. Listen to the research of four scholars who show that the letter cannot be authenticated." ... Interesting?

I would like for someone to settle this argument. I don't want to pay $10 to order the archived radio show. Does anyone have any proof that the Lynch letter was a fabrication. After all, isn't that where the word "lynched" came from?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Auras and Indigo Children

Beliefs in diverse paranormal phenomena tend to show a cyclical character, just like the width of neckties in vogue. Now resurfaced, with a sort of science-like disguise, is one of the most absurd beliefs, yet, one of the easiest to refute: it’s that idea, that first began to gain acceptance in the early 20th century, that we all project an aura of bright colors around our bodies. According to this idea, the aura is a radiating emission, produced by the energy that supposedly emanates from all living beings and surrounds them. The aura cannot be perceived by ordinary vision, only by means of clairvoyance. There are no tests that may demonstrate its existence; and on the contrary, several experiments reveal that those who claim to be able to observe people’s auras, are incapable, for example, of determining with exactitude if there is a person standing behind a table or barrier that only prevents the vision of the contour of the body, but that leaves the zone in which supposedly the aura could be seen free and unobstructed. Yet, no psychic can guess right, above the expected chance levels, whether the experimentation subject is present there or not.

A self professed “medical intuitive,” Caroline Myss (1997), claims that she can describe the nature of all diseases, of any person, just by reading his or her field of energy, and she makes treatment recommendations, both in the physical as well as in the spiritual domain. She calls this "energetic medicine," but she has never offered scientific evidence that would prove her alleged powers.

It’s a new fad in México to supposedly record the auras of small children, in accordance to the criteria of a gifted seer, and those that show a bluish hue in their auras are to be considered what they call “indigo children”: mentally superior child prodigies, with psychic powers. A substantial business has been created thus, dedicated to carefully siphoning the money out of the parents of those so-called “indigo” kids.

Read More of This Article Visit:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Napoleon Christ

Italian prime minister Silvio Burlusconi claims to be the Jesus Christ of politics. Last week he said he was like Napoleon. So which is it? He claimed that no one has done as much for his country since Napoleon. Now he says, "I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone." - story

Perhaps he brings it upon himself?

...and I thought Bush was the Christ.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Humanist Principles

I affirm humanism as a realistic alternative philosophy to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in service to others.

I deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside of nature for salvation.

I am committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.

I believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.

I am committed to the principle of separation of church and state.

I am concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.

I attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, nationality, creed, class or ethnicity and strive to work for the common good of humanity.

I want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.

I believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.

I believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.

I respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health care, and to die with dignity.

I am deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. I want to nourish reason and compassion.

I am engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.

I believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that I am capable of as a human being.

I believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

They can't prove Jesus existed.

Well they shelved the case. The Italian court doesn't want to try the existence of Jesus in a court of law. In fact they suggested that a countersuit for slander be waged. Read this article. The plaintiff doesn't seem too worried about the slander charge. (I told you I would be following this case.)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Don't Get FiLCHeD!

Consider this post as a consumer report about life in general. I’m really sick of seeing people making a living on human frailties. The late night ‘infomercials’ are an excellent example of preying on the inner most weaknesses of the masses. I think the before pictures are funny to look at, but whether it’s a pitch for hair growth or fat burning drugs, you must be critical thinkers to avoid getting ‘FiLCHeD’. What really burns me is not so much the fact that people are paying money to these ‘quacks’, but some ‘products’ could cause serious physical, and in the case of mediums, psychics, and parapsychologists, emotionally damaging. I found an article in ‘The Skeptical Inquiry’ that can help. The article, ‘A Field guide to Critical thinking’, by James Lett, presents a set of rules used to get beyond all of the junk science that is out there.

I hope you read the entire article. It can be used to settle just about any argument. It taught me to use the rule of honesty to admit when proven wrong, and to realize that new evidence can always be discovered.

For further reading on logic and scientific theory please read the following. I consider these as essential reading for anyone with a burden of proof. “If you’re gonna talk, back it up.” – Joey Porter, Pittsburgh Steelers

Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science – The Cronicle of Higher Education

Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection – The Demon Haunted World

How to Bash Pseudoscience – The Blatant Opportunist (pdf)

The Logical Fallacies Index – Stephens’ Guide to Logical Fallacies

A Field Guide to Critical Thinking – The Skeptical Inquiry Magazine

Friday, February 03, 2006

Alabama Burning

Well it seems the southern baptists have made an enemy. Six churches were on fire this morning. While it is a bit extreme to set fire to a house of worship, I can see how some people may want to. It's statements like the ones made by ultra-fundamentalist christians about homosexuality, jews, islams, etc. that can really heat people up. Take a look at a very serious website that claims, "you're going to hell!".