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Last Week in Stupidity 25 Apr 2009

Posted by Jessa in Money, Politics, This Week in Stupidity, Wacky.
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Today’s edition: Teabaggers.

The whole “teabag movement” was doomed to be fodder for epic lulz the second they decided to use “teabag” as a verb.  Apparently, none of the organizers thought to maybe check the Intertubes to see if maybe “teabag” had some sort of alternate meaning that would render their movement unintentionally hilarious.

But that was just the beginning.

I’ll give the organizers the benefit of the doubt.  I’ll assume that they had genuine concerns about what they saw as excessive government spending.  Economics is not exactly an easy-to-understand topic for the layperson, and many people have the natural tendency to mistrust something that they find confusing.  So I can see where they might be suspicious.

Then there’s the unwritten rule that, as protest movements gain popularity, they tend to descend into bizarro-world as the lunatic fringe uses it to air an increasingly wacky list of perceived grievances.  So what starts out as a demonstration of unease about government spending ends up with things like this:

Hyperbole, anyone?

Of course!  The stimulus package is just like being bought and sold like property, being forced to work and live in horrible conditions, and being regularly beaten with a whip:

slavery

A pictorial illustration of the Obama Plan. Just switch races.

Then there’s this:

You keep using that word.  I dont think it means what you think it means.

You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Yes, another True Patriot who doesn’t understand the definition of “socialism”, and probably honestly thinks that he/she (I can’t tell) has never ever benefited from government spending.  How cute!  I personally like roads and brudges, FDIC insurance, water and sewer services,  parks, sidewalks, and many other services that the government provides, but maybe that’s just me.

Want to see more?  Clicky!

Heaven Has Too Many Tribbles 13 Apr 2009

Posted by Jessa in Religion.
Tags: , ,
4 comments

I guess I was about 7 or 8, and I was riding with my best friend to her parents’ house.  Her grandmother was driving.

Her grandmother was a Southern Baptist, and she knew I wasn’t.  I was Methodist, which, in my area, was about on par with being a godless heathen.  She asked me how I was baptized.  I told her that I was sprinkled on my head, as was the tradition in my church.

I remember vividly her reply: “Well, then only the top of your head will go to Heaven, since that’s all you had baptized.”

And all I could remember thinking was that there must be a lot of tops of heads crawling around in Heaven, like tribbles on the Enterprise.

Dear Facebook 01 Apr 2009

Posted by Jessa in random, Rants.
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I do not need $1 diamond rings.  I do not need Easter tattoos for my profile.  I do not want to know the beauty secrets of Jennifer Anniston or any other member of the cast of “Friends”.  I don’t care about the one rule for a flat stomach.  I do not want to get into an IQ challenge with my friends.  I will not fall for “one of your friends thinks you are dumb”.

I know you need to make money, but try a bit more variety.  And less annoyance with flashing ads.

Easter tattoos.  Really?  Because nothing says “I love Jesus” like a crappy gif of a cross with a lily.

Not Gonna Happen 01 Apr 2009

Posted by Jessa in Religion.
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The president of the Italian Catholic bishops’ conference wants us to knock off making fun of the pope.

My reply: no.  Especially since the pope has demonstrated a keen ability to make inane, wrong, mock-worthy statements.  How are we supposed to take seriously a person who claims that condoms will worsen the AIDS epidemic in Africa?

This one’s for you, Joey.

Pope Palpatine

Pope Palpatine

Just Nisbet Being Nisbet 30 Mar 2009

Posted by Jessa in Atheism, Religion, Science.
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Poor Matt Nisbet.  He still doesn’t get it.

First off, he wags his finger at Richard Dawkins for sharing his opinion on religion:

Dawkins, for example, argues as a scientist that religion is comparable to a mental virus or “meme” that can be explained through evolution, that religious believers are delusional, and that in contrast, atheists are representative of a healthy, independent, and pro-science mind. In making these claims, not only does Dawkins use his authority as the “Oxford University Professor of the Public Understanding of Science” to denigrate various social groups, but he gives resonance to the false narrative of social conservatives that the scientific establishment has an anti-religion agenda.

How dare Richard Dawkins speak an opinion about anything other than science!  It’s not like there’s some sort of clash between science and religion.  Oh wait, there is.

The whole NOMA thing doesn’t work.  Religion has tons to say about things that are within the “science magesterium”, and scientists have every right (and, I might add, an obligation) to push back at statements that flatly contradict scientific observations.  And the people who think that “the scientific establishment has an anti-religion agenda” have had that belief cemented into them long before Dawkins came along.

And then he goes off about Expelled, and how awful it was for the cause of science:

The conflict narrative is powerfully employed in the 2008 anti-evolution documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. By relying almost exclusively on interviews with outspoken atheist scientists such as Dawkins and the blogger PZ Myers, Expelled reinforces the false impression that evolution and faith are inherently incompatible and that scientists are openly hostile to religion. In the film, the comedic actor Ben Stein plays the role of a conservative Michael Moore, taking viewers on an investigative journey into the realm of “Big Science,” an institution where Stein concludes that “scientists are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator.”

[snip]

One leading example from the film is an interview with Myers, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota-Morris, and author of the Pharyngula blog. Myers’ comments in the film reflect much of the content of his blog, which is estimated to receive over a 1 million readers per month. Interviewed in his laboratory, against a backdrop of microscopes and scientific equipment, Myers offers the following view of religion (see YouTube clip):

Religion is naiveté that gives some people comfort and we don’t want to take it away from them. It’s like knitting, people like to knit. We are not going to take their knitting needles away, we are not going to take away their churches, but we have to get it to a place where religion is treated at a level that it should be treated. That is something fun that people get together and do on the weekend, and really doesn’t affect their life as much as it has been so far.

In a follow up, when prompted to discuss how he believes this goal might be accomplished, Myers offers a line of reasoning that reflects the deficit model paradigm, arguing that science literacy is in direct conflict with religious belief:

Greater science literacy, which is going to lead to the erosion of religion, and then we will get this nice positive feedback mechanism going where as religion slowly fades away we will get more and more science to replace it, and that will displace more and more religion which will allow more and more science in and we will eventually get to that point where religion has taken that appropriate place as a side dish rather than a main course.

How quickly Matt forgets.  Dawkins and Myers were duped into talking about religion during their interviews.  They were told that the film was about the intersection of science and religion, so it’s not as if their opinions about religion were unsolicited.  I’m sure that, if asked only about science, they could probably manage not to veer off into an anti-religious screed.  Matt apparently thinks that they are incapable of  refraining from unsolicited statements about religion.

So how, exactly, are people like Dawkins and Myers supposed to act in Nisbet-world?  Are they just supposed to sit idly by as people try to push religion into science?  Are they supposed to act like it’s okay for people to say that the earth is 6000 years old?  That humans and dinosaurs co-existed?  That evolution is false?

Follow Me 28 Mar 2009

Posted by Jessa in Uncategorized.
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Have you ever thought that your life would be more complete if you had regular updates on what your humble blogger was thinking or doing?  Then I have the perfect solution for you – follow me on Twitter!

You’re welcome.

This Week in Stupidity 22 Mar 2009

Posted by Jessa in Atheism, Humor, Religion.
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And the winner is….Pastor Chris Fox of Kendalls Baptist Church in New London, NC.

He tried to pull a reverse-Poe at a blog written and read by atheists.  Hilarity ensued.

PROTIP:  You will get caught if you Lie for Jesus.

On a related note, lolcats nail it:

More Tacky Christian Gifts 17 Mar 2009

Posted by Jessa in Religion.
Tags: , ,
3 comments

The Prayer Cross.  Beware.  Mute your computer if you click through, because it has audio you can’t disable any other way.

Even when I was a Christian, I would have berated you for spending $19.99 (plus $7.99 S&H) for such tacky crap.  Because nothing declares your devotion to Jesus like tacky jewelry.

DaveScott Banned from UD 16 Mar 2009

Posted by Jessa in Uncategorized.
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Details here.  If you don’t get why that’s funny, JFGI.

Evolution 21 Feb 2009

Posted by Jessa in Science.
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One problem I have noticed when discussing the Theory of Evolution with people is that I find that many people have serious misconceptions about what the theory actually says, and what it doesn’t say.  Does it say that a monkey can morph into a human?  Does it say that dogs can give birth to cats?   Why aren’t there crocoducks?

For those who might be interested in a very simple primer on evolution and misconceptions about it, watch the video below.  Yeah, I know it’s 10 minutes long, but it’s educational and amusing.