July 30, 2006

Poli-Sci: The Internets Then And Now

As you no doubt know, the whole kerfuffle over the so-called Net Neutrality is being brought about because of service providers not knowing how to make the most money they can from this resource that everyone uses.

I just came across this interesting little article from March 1995, done for the Association for Computing Machinery's on-line magazine. In it, the question of how exactly the service providers can control content is debated, and whether the internet can be made into a one-way vehicle, like televisions needing stations to provide content for your home consumption.

Worth a quick read.

Labels: ,

posted by Thursday at 12:05 am 0 comments

July 29, 2006

Other: Genocide Ain't So Bad

So it occured to me as I was into my 11th hour on one game of Civilization 3, that for all the complaints about vilence in computer games it's always Grand Theft Auto or Medal of Hono(u)r or DOOM or some other First Person Shooter that catches most of the grief. Which is a little strange, because here I am deciding to invade a former ally, destroying their cities and pillaging their lands for the sake of some rare resources that they don't want to sell me. Using nuclear weaponry is actually a tactic in this game.

But I guess if you don't see anyone die, then it's not, y'know, really real.

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 11:38 pm 0 comments

July 24, 2006

Other: Cleaning House

I have far too many things that were intended to be temporary links in my "Bookmarks" folder, so I'm just going to dump a few off right now because I'm too damn lazy to do anything with them, but I still feel strangely guilty for having them all:

Religion:

Why these guys are professional humourists, and I'm not.
The bible like you (may) have never seen. Just how much time on your hands did you have as a kid, anyways?

Politics:

For the "9/11 made domestic spying necessary!" crowd.
Speaking of 9/11 and the conspiracy fan base.
A Net Neutrality round up.
Why ignoring hate groups is NOT the best policy. Hate Radio plays a part in more than implied violence.
Efforts to find someone else to hate.

Sex:

Sex is not fun.
No, sex is fun!
But it can also be dangerous, so watch your speed.

Science:

One of the biggest howls from the Intelligent Design crowd are about the lack of macro-stages of evolution: it's the old "a dog can't have kittens" stupidity. If you ask what would constitute proof, they suddenly shut up.
Don't trust politics blended with science? Try this in regular doses.
"It's a natural cure, so it must be good for you..." Unless, of course, it's a carcinogen.

Motorcycles:

How 15 motorcycle accidents in 12 years is an epidemic. If they all happened to the same person, I'd say it's a case of optimism over experience; but this is to 15 seperate people for crying out loud!
Think motorcycles are scary? Think chainsaws are scary? Then prepare to change your shorts after this scene of pants wetting terror!

Other:

The best lacrosse player in the world goes out in style.
My (current) favorite philosopher.
My favorite kill-time, and one of my favorite magazines. Go buy it.

Thus, do I absolve myself from all feelings of doubt and shame. Ahh...

Okay I'm bored. I wonder if sex really is fun...?

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 8:19 pm 2 comments

July 23, 2006

Politics: Preserving the Dignity of Biohazardous Materials

Hokay:

So if abortion is murder, the "morning after pill" is murder, discarding frozen embryos is murder, using frozen embryos is murder, birth control is preemptive murder, and male mastrubation makes Jesus cry, why aren't all the people doing these things in prison? If you want to hear what flop sweat sounds like, here's Josh Bolten trying to explain why it is that if you don't think it's murder, then go ahead and harvest those blastocycts, baby! An interesting governmental stance, that, and I'm wondering if it could apply to anything else the federal government thinks is a crime...?

The running excuse so far has been to say that the only presidential veto used by George W. Bush was to stop "the incenting or new destruction of fertilized embryos." This means that no federal money would go to any group that wished to harvest fertilized eggs from women for research. The problem with this excuse is that the US Senate already shot down that proposal 100 - 0. You read that right: ZERO members voted in favour of any money going to that variant of research.

Hm.

So if that wasn't what the veto was used on, how was it used? It was used on a bill that proposed funding be granted to reseachers who wished to use already frozen embryos that are currently in fertility clinics and due to be destroyed. There are many reasons why such embryos are destroyed, the most common of which being that the couple who were using the clinic to help them with their pregancy have decided not to have any more children. The children who result from frozen embryos are nicknamed "snowflakes", perhaps because (as Jon Stewart pointed out about Bush's news conference) no two were alike, and they are all so very white. Personally, I like the name one commenter at Sadly, No! used:

  1. tigrismus said,

    July 22, 2006 at 1:11

    Like little Godberries. Sweet, juicy little, wait, what?


And then there was Senator Brownback. Okay, seriously: doesn't "Brownback" sound like the next santorum? Almost certainly a verb, though: brownbacking. Man, I don't even want to think about definitions for that...

Anyhow, about the senator. He decided that a big hand drawn image of some frowning, talking, and just maybe dancing Godberries would be just the thing to sway his fellow senators from supporting the bill. He also explained how an egg is actually an eagle, and encouraged people to adopt some of these embroys. He doesn't bother mentioning the 118,000 kids that are currently awaiting adoption in America, of course. This fits perfectly with the party line: people only matter until they're born. He's got a lot of work to do if he wants all the current Godberries to be adopted, though: so far, 0.032% of the 400,000 frozen embryos have been adopted.

To reiterate the US government's apparent position:

remaining embryos used for research by publicly funded scientists = murder;
remaining embryos used by privately or corporate funded researchers = not murder;
remaining embryos discarded as biohazardous material = ...?

It's not like the question is new to this administration; but it would have been nice for it to have been thought about at some time in the past four years. Perhaps that would be a question for either of the White House's two Ethics Advisors, or maybe the Director for Lessons Learned, or even for the Director of Fact Checking.

And yes, those are real, salaried positions. Before looking, guess which of those four gets paid the least?

Labels: ,

posted by Thursday at 5:43 pm 0 comments

July 22, 2006

Religion: But Do They Mention Anal Sex?

There's a signpost in our town that points to various and sundry locations in our direction. It reads:

Pentacostal Church
United Churches
Sikh Temple
Tennis Courts

The last being for poor lost souls who just can't let go of the '80s, I suppose. I wouldn't mind if they added

Atheist

to the sign. Not out of any need for noteriety (gosh, I've got this just amazing blog for that!), but to give the proselytizers a bit of fair warning. They always seem surprised when they knock on the door and I actually come outside to speak with them. Before today, the last couple visibly deflated when he asked "when do you recall becoming an atheist" and I told him that I was seven. Apparently, they expect some big event or crisis of faith that causes people to reject god(s): instead it was just that as I was saying the pater noster (yet again) at the beginning of assembly in school, I thought "Why am I saying this?" A kid becoming an atheist all on his own was to depressing to argue with, so the god botherers left.

It's been over a year since any came by until today.

It was a couple of guys, instead of the usual man-ahead-woman-behind duo. So we chatted for a while, and the older fellow asked if I thought evolution had all the answers, and I reminded him that evolution says nothing about how the universe began, and he wasn't sure where to go after that. So I talked about how any god that planned on the continuous extinction of various animal and plant species would have to be awfully darn subtle, and pointed out that those extinctions were caused by both man and animal, and he said: Hm.

I don't know how long these two have been going door-to-door, but I don't think they were very experienced. A hollow victory, at best.

They did, however, leave behind the usual magazines, and one of them included an article on How to Build a Happy Marriage, which has been nicely entertaining. Now, these articles come in a format as predicatable as any Harlequin romance: the first half is about how miserable the world is, and how Nothing is Good and True Anymore; and the second half is how everything Could be Good and True (Though Still Not as Good and True as Before) if you Only Read the Bible. The reason is simple enough: Christianity is, and always has been, as much an apocalypse faith as any Norse mythology. The only thing that matters is what's coming up (Death! Whee!), not what's here and now.

Think I'm kidding? What other faith has a Rapture Index ("The prophetic spedometer of end-time activity")? An Index Rating of 145 or higher is supposed to mean that you shouldn't start any long books, yet the lowest that's been in two years is a rating of 143! Who else is quivering with (potential) extacy over the current conflict in Israel/Palenstine? From the message boards at the website "Rapture Ready":

Is it time to get excited? I can't help the way I feel. For the first time in my Christian walk, I have no doubts that the day of the Lords appearing is upon us. I have never felt this way before, I have a joy that bubbles up every-time I think of him, for I know this is truly the time I have waited for so long.

And:

Ready, waiting and excited here! Still telling others whenever possible that the rapture could take place at any time because this world is in such a big MESS and evidently it goes through one ear and right out the other.

And:

My brother has witnessed to some of his friends over and over. He finally prayed to God and asked Him to spare their lives when the rapture happens. Dan has told them, "When the rapture happens, go to my house and read everything I have in this folder." They roll their eyes, but............I'll bet they run to find that folder when the rapture happens!

There are others, but you get the point. (Personally, I love the fact that the site has a "In case you're left behind" section!) The entire faith hinges on the thought that things have gone for shit right now, but just wait until you're dead! Then life will improve no end!

Bearing this in mind, the article on marriage goes through a list of why it is that everything (including marriage) has gone for shit: Eve's selfishness; people's selfishness; therapists; marriage counselors; cohabitation; the '60s; single moms; same-sex unions; living longer; Catholics... And, of course, Satan, but isn't it always?

The second section, as you may expect, talks about making a happy marriage. Lots of passages from scripture are mentioned, with my favorite being:

"Husbands and wives can learn a great deal about marriage by considering how Jesus delt with his desciples. How so? In the Bible the relationship between Jesus and those who will rule with him in heaven is likened to that between a man and his wife. (2 Corinthians 11:2)"

Um, is this anything like Gilgamesh embracing Enkidu "as he would a wife"? I don't see it, myself, but whatever floats yer boat, mate; though I'm surprised that many Christians are as adamantly opposed to homosexuality as they are if this is an accepted interpretation... In any case, it boils down to one quite good piece of advice: don't be an ass. All the biblical quotes and passages they refer to are about being polite to your spouse. Mostly it's advice to women of course. But somehow, they left out this New Testament gem:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
-Ephesians 5:23 - 24

They're the ones that caused this mess that we're in after all. I did mention the world is going for shit, right?

The real problem the god-botherers face in dealing with me is that they're trying to convert a happy man, and frankly that just ain't easy. I pointed out the article's title to my Significant Other (9th anniversary coming up), and she said this:

"How to Build a Happy Marriage? Do they say anything about lots and lots of kinky sex?"

I am indeed a happy, happy man.

I kind of wish the Sikhs would send someone around: I don't really know much about their religion. I guess they're just too happy to be here instead of having serious troubles in the Punjab or having another Komagata Maru to consider winning converts.

But I shudder to think of the day when I hear: "Good morning, sir. Could we to talk to you for a minute about New Wave music and Reaganomics...?"

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 10:05 pm 9 comments

July 19, 2006

Other: Driving in Circles

Hey, Kids! Let's pile into the Mystery Machine with Scooby-Doo and the gang for a healthy dose of skepticism and snacks and strange things that go bump in the night and always end up just being the carnival owner in a mask.

This week, the Skeptics' Circle is located at Franken Castle, right at the end of (for me, anyways) Memory Lane!

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 9:40 pm 0 comments

Politics: Morning, Glories!

Last year, I as the Significant Other and I were in the garden, I saw some beautiful flowers: bone white trumpets on a burgundy vine with deep green leaves. The SO was less enthusiastic about them, but let me keep them in place because I thought the flowers were gorgeous. That was last summer.

It's summer once again, so I was picking various and sundry berries in my back yard today, and found a fascinating thing: half the raspberries were quite a lot smaller than the others. As you may have guessed, the smaller lot had one thing in common: a morning glory vine growing right over top of them, blocking out sunlight from many of the raspberries' leaves. Clearly, these two would not survive in the same space, so the question was which would I let survive, the beautiful flower or the fruit?

"The bitch gotta go," I muttered to myself as I shredded my arms yanking morning glory vines out from around the raspberry's thorns. Something can look as pretty as anything, but if it doesn't give me what I want, out it comes. And what I wanted more than pretty blossoms was food. The SO knew exactly what would happen, and since she knows me quite well, she knew what my reaction would be, too. But it certainly served as a lesson I'll be remembering longer than if she had simply told me: "Look, those are morning glories and they're incredibly obnoxious weeds that you should kill now." Lesson learned, weeds torn up, and I'll be keeping an eye on other such encroachments in the future.

On a totally unrelated subject, Ken Lay died on July 5th of a heart attack, the surprise there being the discovery that he did in fact have a heart. For those who don't recall, he was one of the folks behing the incredible scam that was Enron (Jeffery Skilling being the other); but he was really oh, so much more than that...

In 1992, George of Herbert decided to deregulate the power companies while he was on his way out of office. Two years later, Prince George, still Governor of Texas, was asked by "Kenny-Boy" to appoint a fellow by the name of Pat Wood to the Public Utility Commission. That was in a Christmas card, and George was in a giving mood: the CEO of Enron got the man he wanted in charge of regulating the energy monopolies of Texas. He worked tirelessly for the destruction of Roosevelt's Public Utility Holding Company Act, which demanded (among other things) three things from the power monopolies: the companies were told how much profit they could make, what rates they could charge, and *ahem* how much they had to invest in improving and maintaining supply lines.

With those limits gone, and deregulation quickly becoming the norm, can you guess what happened after that? Here's a hint: it's why there's a moderate Republican Gropenator in the Governor's mansion of California. The telephone recordings and email exchanges between employees of Enron laughing about the engineered California power shortages are shocking in their indifference to civillians. For instance, this little gem about a plan called (I kid you not) "Death Star":

"The net effect of these transactions is that Enron gets paid for moving energy to relieve congestion without actually moving any energy or relieving any congestion," the company's own lawyers said in an internal memo released in 2002 by federal investigators.


And who can forget "Grandma Millie"?

Employee 1: "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?
Employee 2: "Yeah, Grandma Millie man.
Employee 1: "Yeah, now she wants her f-----g money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her a—for f-----g $250 a megawatt hour."

Clinton's response was to ban Enron from trading power, but he had served his 8 years and was on his way out. Bush the Second, now president, responded to the crisis as a true free-market crusader would:

"We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse and that's why I oppose price caps," said Mr. Bush on May 29, 2001.

With deregulated energy firms (Entergy) supplying power to New Orleans, when Hurricane Katrina hit it was decided that it made more economic sense for the company to simply turn off the lights and call their regional subsidiary bankrupt. Entergy reported an earnings leap of 23% for the third quarter of 2005. As for the fourth quarter? Don't ask.

And this is where we came in. The deregualtion of things every one needs to use, like energy or medicine, looks pretty; and there are a lot of pretty sound bites that it comes with. But when it doesn't work, and hasn't worked, in giving the people what they need, then it's time to tear it out before it kills off what does.

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 7:52 pm 0 comments

July 12, 2006

Other: Work as Sit-Com

Well, that was an unfun little couple of days - last month, the mom-in-law told us she was moving from Vancouver to Victoria. Right now. So two weeks ago, I moved her, and this week the Significant Other and I were over giving the place a once-over (lovely woman, no idea how to clean) and a new coat of paint. I hate driving in Vancouver: no idea if the people there actually become stupider when behind the wheel or just sociopathically indifferent, but there's no joy to be had. Victoria has a worse layout for driving in, but Vancouver has her beat in Wandering Nutbags.

On the plus side, I made a couple of personal discoveries. I found out, for instance, that if I don't trim my beard every few days, I'll be asked if I'm religious. I'm really not sure what the appropriate response is when I'm told I "have a very muslim beard". The funny thing is, I've also been told I look jewish, so I'm thinking it's the beholder reather than the beheld. What the hell, let's call that a word.

Got back home after springing the dog out of hock, and found out he snapped his dew claw, so I had to get him in to the vet for a rather horrible session of pinning my rottie cross down while someone else hacks at a piece of him. It was broken above the quick, so the vet had to slice through some flesh. Lovely.

Then off to get the SO, who stayed an extra day in Vancouver. I got to come back the day before so I could attend my "acting on film" class. I've done a fair amount of theatre, but all the varieties of film are so radically different that I figure it's best to have a clue before I try for an audition.

Funny thing is, I always thought of my last job (bakery dish-pig) as a television situation comedy anyways. Just look at the cast:

The Boss: Early 40s woman; single mom; whip thin and highly stressed, she's always lacking sleep, as she's also one of the bakers. Currently in an on-again/off-again gay relationship.

Boss' Daughter: Tall, slender; model looks; been dating one guy (who mom doesn't approve of) for the past three years; shy, which is easily mistaken for coldness.

Barrista #1: 18 year old girl; blonde and pixie cute; enthusiastic, fun and smart, if a little sarcastic at times.

Barrista #2: 40s woman; aging hippie/Aquarian; only cleans things with baking soda, including floors, dishes and herself.

Barrista #3: Late 20s guy; musician - what else do you have to say? He's in the band.

Cook #1: 18 year old girl; very athletic (national level); wants to join the military; a virgin, but also probably gay.

Cook #2: Eco-warrior; has lived on a commune; knows how to build (and has built) cob homes; has geology degree, then realised the only work she could get was for mining companies and became a baker instead.

Baker: Ultra-competent, and frankly a little intimidating; loud, lusty, and utterly unafraid. Plus, she's married to the dish-pig!

Dessert Baker: Mother of three; knowledge geek; has the astounding ability to end every shift spotless, and no one knows how; of chinese-jewish descent, she'd be "the exotic one", right up until she speaks: she is so Canadian.

Cookie Baker: Single mom, and still a party girl.

Dish Pig: The guy people look at and think "Isn't he a little old for that job?" You have to wonder why he's otherwise unemployable - no one would choose to wash dishes for a living, would they?

Actually, the answer to the last bit is simple: count the ratio of women to men there, and add to that the hiring policy of the bakery apparently includes the phrase: "Must have a great ass". It really improves my working atmosphere, and that's more important to me than money, although the pay was fine.

Plus, it means I have a great ass.

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 7:47 pm 0 comments

July 08, 2006

Science: Fish, Barrel, Gun...

So this week's Circle brought an interesting comment:

On a whim I decided to take the Randi million dollar challenge. As a true skeptic I am skeptical of everything including professional skeptics. The test is bogus, Randi lies, he rejected my claim saying that I didn't want any photos taken, not true, I actually demanded that the whole process be video taped just incase I might need it as evidence to present to a jury if I had to sue to collect. He lied to his readers at his site saying I would not agree to a proper protocol, which translates "Randi wins at all costs", honesty is not in the equation...Bill Perron P.S.if you want the real truth anyone can call me at XXX-XXX-3697 or write bill@fantasyenchantment.com

Here's the page where Mr. Randi talks about the application, and there's a follow-up the next week. I added a small response of my own:

Hi, Bill!

I seem to recall that you claimed that horoscopes were accurate, correct? At least to a 60% chance. You wanted to print up the horoscope from your computer for random men, then have their wives read all eight pages of it to see if she could recognise their husbands.

I'd like to be sure that this is an accurate description of your claim before discussing it further.

Have you ever tried reversing the ability? As in: have you ever thought of creating a questionnaire that could then determine the person's date of birth? It could ask about various personality traits, their place (and time, but not date obviously) of birth, and whatever features that horoscopes theoretically determine. It could be filled out by the wife (or someone else close to the subject) to try avoiding some of our person bias (everyone has a little self-delusion in their lives, right? while still being written by someone close enough to know them.

From there, it should be a piece of cake to figure out what day they were born on! Or at least very, very close to it.

By Thursday

This is something that I've always wondered about horoscopes... There are "readers" who claim that they could not be completely accurate unless thay knew where every sinlge planet was at the instant of birth - well, then surely they could look at what the person was like and perhaps a few general events in their life (bankruptcy, perhaps, or being married three times) and determine something as vague as what day the subject was born on. Couldn't they?

Or is it, in the words of famed speaker to the dead John Edward, a case of "It doesn't work that way"?

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 2:15 pm 2 comments

July 06, 2006

Other: The Pause That Refreshes

Hot?
Thirsty?
Overheated?
Want a tall, cool draft of a rather heady brew?

Welcome to this week's edition of the Skeptics' Circle!

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring."

Alexander Pope

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 10:48 am 2 comments

July 05, 2006

Politics: Send The Indians Back To Africa!

To quote George Washington in a letter he sent to the Hebrew congregation in Newport in 1790:

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

There is a cherry tree on the Trans Canada Trail that's right behind my house: it's over sixty feet tall at this point, and flourishing. It's not a tree that can be easily brought down with a hatchet and intentions, but given enough time, and enough will, down it comes.

Say hello to the folks who have tiny little hatchets of minds, and are hell bent on bringing down the tree that Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and so many other, much greater, minds raised.

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 10:48 am 0 comments

July 01, 2006

Religion: The TRUTH At Last! (Again)

Well, that was an unfun week! While the Significant Other was gone catering, I helped her mother move from Vancouver to Victoria over two days. This involved me driving a 25' truck, which I only drive about once a year, through unfamiliar streets in a city which I visit about once a year, being directed by someone who let her license expire ten years ago. Then I heard that the SO had dropped Clover again, so I had to visit her for a morale boost. I need a little break.

So for my own morale boost, I'm going to pick apart a full page ad that will be appearing in the Washington Times (national edition) on July 3rd. It's written by Doctor Dennis Jarrard, who starts the letter (read: ad) with "Dear Concerned Friend," and signs off with "Yours for the children," which always sets off warning bells. His doctorate is in education, meaning he's been taught how to teach, though with the assembled falacies in the ad he wrote, you have to wonder how well...

First, a checklist:

Nazi references: Yes (twice)
Stalnist reference: Yes (once)
Professors are lefties, far lefties, or extreme lefties: Yes (seven times)
Professors are athiests or secularists: Yes (three times)
Hollywood/Liberal Media Elite: Yes (once)
Sex education = pedophilia: Yes (the point of the ad)
That "Left" and "Right" science exist: Yes (constant theme)
The courts are eliminating morality: Yes (twice)

I'm not going to bother reprinting the entire ad here: if you want to check it out, just follow the link above. What you'll get from me is the gist of the argument, the ironic mistakes pointed out, and a quick smack upside the head for the folks who think the argument is legitimate. Even limiting myself to that, this could well end up longer than the original ad.

And on with the show!

Section One
Much like politicos on the right just can't seem to let go of Clinton's penis, the religious folk of the right can't get past their personal persecution complex. The opening is all about the unfairness of it all, "it" being that Senator Kerry insulted President Bush's religious followers (including, we are assured, "Christians and many Jews"). Note that it's not "many Christians", as if the writer could not concieve of anyone who considered themselves Christian supporting anyone but Bush. (Fallacy #1) No other religion seems to warrant mentioning.

There is a reminder that Kerry "is a product of Yale", and that "The left-wing professors’ twisted “science” comes from schools such as Harvard and Indiana University." This bemuses me no end, as the supposed avatar that the good doctor has already felt was unjustly smeared attended both Yale and Harvard. I'll guess that Bush's attendance at that school is considered acceptable since it seemed to have so little effect.

Can't leave without a dig at those horrible courts! Dr. Jerrard complains bitterly that morality is being replaced by science, as if the two were incompatible. This is a constant theme, except when it's decided that science shows what the religious folks want: then it's okay.

Then comes the best blurb: that the liberal media elites supress vital information from the public! Need proof? Doctor Georges Lemaitre isn't as famous as Albert Einstien! Don't you see? Don't you see!? They refuted athiests, and nobody knows it! Gosh!

This leads to the oddest declaration of the piece: "Our future decision-makers think it was Einstein who explained the universe and its origin." Save the Children!

Um, actually, no, they don't. Einstein's biggest revelations, and what he's most famous for, is the understanding of perception (how the universe may work) rather than it's origin. He's also famous for being a celebrity at a time when science, and scientists, were looked at with some awe by the general public: he became more so with the detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Anyhow, that's the leader line to...

Section Two
It's all about the conspiracy, baby! You see, Einstein attended a conference at which Lemaitre was speaking, and became convinced that the Big Bang was real. This, of course, would prove Christianity (and hence the Ten Commandments) correct, but as Lemaitre was a Catholic the scientific world shunned him. Or something.

It's actually quite difficult to follow the madly leaping logic here, but apparently Dr. Jerrard thinks that (a) any scientists who are religious are derided by all other scientists; and (b) only scientists who are religious can see the world clearly: he calls Lemaitre "the Belgian priest-scientist", for instance. These are tremendously odd beliefs to hold, as most scientists are religious, and if Gregor Mendel, a monk, was ignored then evolution wouldn't be taught in schools as there wouldn't have been enough evidence for it.

The other assertion made here, that the Big Bang proves the Ten Commendments, is just weird. First, of course, is the claim that all life starting from a constantly-expanding point is somehow a strictly Judeo-Christian belief (and an "ancient" one, yet!): no where in the Bible is this statement ever made. Now, apparently, it's only Christians that ever held this belief. Hm.

The last paragraph or this section goes from play-science to play-mathematics. It's asserted that mathematicians showed biologists that life couldn't have happened by random events - ever. The sneaky biologists, however, "simply assumed the math must be wrong." First, the assumption is made that biologists are all a pack of athiests or other deliberate God-deniers to ignore such powerful "facts" that the mathematicians presented to them. Second, trying to apply probablility to something for which we have no scale makes as much sense as sticking a Band-Aid to the ocean: it just doesn't apply. I have in my collection of apocalypse books (for instance) one that asserts the mathematical odds of Mikhail Gorbachev NOT being the Anti-Christ was over 100,000,000,000 to one. That's against his being the Anti-Christ.

I guess we got awfully lucky there, eh?

Section Three
Sex, sex, and more sex! Mostly, it's bad for you. Well, not you, but your children. (The children! Won't somebody think of the children!) This is a favorite bugbear of moralists, and always has been, so there's nothing new here. Kinsey was evil, sex education is corrupting, and pornography creates rapists. If you think this sounds simplistic, you're right. Oh, plus all this immorality has happened in the past fifty years because "secular universities have [also] twisted our children's view of sexuality." Two points: how'd my kid get into university without knowing anything about sex; and second my education consisted in telling me what the various bit were called and how they worked. But I suppose that's information, so it was probably bad for me.

(Side note: if you want to give your kids some actual, practical, no-bullshit information, try Scarletteen.)

Plus, as we all know, nothing sexually perverse EVER happened more than fifty years ago, right? Kinsey must have invented sexual deviation, because it never would have happened otherwise!

Section Four
More victims, all children (of course). The good doctor notes that there are many more venerial diseases around nowadays that had never been known before - or at least, were never dealt with before. This, clearly, is the fault of secularists. After all, where else could AIDS have come from? Or Human Papilloma Virus, a disease which causes cervical cancer, claiming over 200,000 lives every year? (An effective vaccine to which, by the way, many sexual abolitionists are trying to ban.) Also pointed out is that "illicit sex is [aso] a leading cause of self-hatred and suicide among young people." Neglecting that it's guilt that causes the feelings of "self-hatred" - but that might strike a little close to home, so let's just not go there, okay? Not mentioned is that new diseases crop up in human history constantly, sexually transmitted or otherwise, and sexuality is actually talked about now, whereas fifty years ago it was actually rather difficult to find a specialist in human sexual diseases. Good luck talking to your GP about them!

Then abortion comes up (as we all knew it would!), and with it an extremely limited statistic about 15-18 year old girls having abortions. Amusingly, the physical risks involved are mentioned without explaining that those risks are eliminated if the abortions are performed by trained staff, and the emotional risks are tremendously reduced with the counselling that is provided at EVERY CLINIC IN NOTRH AMERICA. To sum up: the risks mentioned are all amplified when abortion is illegal and fer more dangerous, not when they are performed legally. Best ban them then, I suppose...

This section has a great end line: "Most of America’s sexual pathologies, plus abortion and homosexual “marriage,” come from university-trained “sexologists.” WOW! Those guys must be working some kind of overtime to get around to all those pathologies! Quick! Sent the Mounties! After all, they always get their man, don't they?

Section Five
First thing we do: ban all the teachers. Or at least the ones we want banned. Because they're, you know, evil and stuff. Besides, they "train thousands in the immoral Kinsey lifestyle", whatever the hell that means.

Added Bonus Section!
Remember, they don't want your money (it's about saving children, after all), but if you happen to donate $30 or more (tax deductable, naturally) then they'll send you for FREE a whole quarter-hour DVD about Kinsey and his Amazing Nazi Pedophiles!

How exactly you gather little enough information to produce a 15 minute DVD is currently unknown.

Ah, that was refreshing! It's summer, and the blogging is quieter: a slower pace as befits the weather. Just picked up this summers Scientific American Special Edition, and it's all about evolution, mutation, and the rise of intelligence in humans. Well worth picking up.

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 5:35 pm 12 comments