Christians Shouldn’t Use Royal Wedding As Affirmation

Whenever the media highlights an event which is even remotely Christian, the pundit-believers scramble to use it as part of their theological, propaganda machine. Never mind about the details. A blogger, and self-proclaimed “philosopher and scholar of modern western religious thought, a writer and columnist,” named Dr Timothy Dalrymple sees majesty and affirmation of the Christian faith in the silliness of the British Royal Wedding of William and Kate.

You’ve got to hand it to the Brits: they know how to do pomp and circumstance. The entry of Catherine Middleton into Westminster Cathedral is something to behold… I confess: I’m a sucker for weddings.

…The Christian theology of marriage — in which two truly become one — implies that those of us who are called to marriage will only become ourselves fully and truly when we have found the one for whom we were intended.

Yes, you are a sucker for a wedding. First, a minor detail that’s not so minor if you call yourself a “scholar of modern Western religious thought.” Westminster Cathedral is the Catholic Church down the street from Westminster Abbey, the Protestant Church, where the Royal Wedding actually took place. Why would the Queen Of England, who’s the Head of the Church of England, hold the wedding in a Catholic church? Second, the Church of England is a perfunctory Christian organization filled with many closeted and open atheists. The writer Philip Pullman summed it up in a New Yorker interview — “Although I call myself an atheist, I am a Church of England atheist.”

It’s funny to look for everlasting faith in a declining organization that’s only held up by pageantry and a nod to tradition from the pensioners.

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Sexy Alternative Medicine

Why waste your money on medical insurance when a new-age dork and a Russian hottie have the answers? Massage your problems away.

A member of my family was recently diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, a condition involving the esophagus, stomach, and diaphragm. He spent two nights in a real hospital where he was examined by actual doctors. He received a blood transfusion and underwent a battery of unpleasant tests. His initial symptoms were  severe fatigue and a persistent dry cough. An abnormality in a blood test, found during a routine checkup, is what got the whole process rolling. He was found to be dangerously anemic –his red blood cell count was way too low. He’d been slowly bleeding for months from stomach ulcers caused by the hernia. And his body no longer had enough iron to make up for the loss. He’ll be fine thanks to science-based medicine.

Now, the alternative as found on YouTube: Holding up a person’s arm and poking them in various abdominal locations is somehow supposed to diagnose a hiatal hernia. And a gentle and arousing stomach massage is in some way going to correct it. Most everything the man in the video said about this type of hernia is incorrect. Many of the symptoms associated with hiatal hernias are actually nonspecific and could be caused by more serious conditions like cancer. That’s why my family member had an array of intrusive tests, to check for all the possibilities, and to rule out the worst.

The vagueness of “alternative” medicine lends it perfectly to fraud and disastrous outcomes. All you have to do is perform a useless examination, then provide the patient with a bogus untestable (by alternative means) diagnosis. Finally, recommend an innocuous treatment (like massage) and hand over the bill. You’re done, unless you’ve mistakenly lulled the patient into thinking they have a mild ailment, when in fact they have a deadly disease; then you’re a menace to society.

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Jeffrey Epstein, Lawrence Krauss, and The Inequity Of Justice

Jeffrey Epstein –media mogul and sex offender — has a loyal friend, perhaps too loyal. If you have big names like Lawrence Krauss –physicist and sometimes skeptic–on your side, and you have enough money and influence, you can wriggle your way out of hard trouble and into soft justice. Epstein received only 18 months for paying to have sex with numerous underage girls. Some of his other friends who sang his praises prior to his arrest included President Bill Clinton, billionaire clown Donald Trump, and Duke of York Prince Andrew. The inequity of the justice system is always disgusting to behold. To contrast, radio talk-show host Bernie Ward was sentenced to 7 years in federal prison for “downloading graphic images of child sex and distributing them on the Internet.”

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Ghost Hunting With Geiger Counters?

TV ghost-hunters have raided electronic stores for every possible piece of testing equipment that can produce pseudo-scientific drama with speculative data. They use them to span the intellectual and logical gaps –to attribute perfectly natural phenomena to the paranormal or supernatural without any further explanation as to why. Anecdotal evidence is not research. So, it’s no surprise to learn that the GhostHunterStore sells Geiger counters:

A geiger counter can be very useful in an investigation for monitoring the changes in the background radiation of a location. Researchers have found that ambient radiation seems to be drained or increased in the presents [sic] of ghosts. Geiger counters have been shown to be effective in paranormal investigation since the 1970’s and are recommended by ghosthunters such as Troy Taylor and Peter Underwood. [my emphasis]

Yes, what a wonderful “present” a ghost would make. It’s better than a pet rock, and no wrapping is required. And it’s value and size are left up to the imagination. Splurge if you wish, give a friend a dozen ghosts for their birthday. You can easily confirm your ghostly “purchase” (wink, wink) because radiation levels increase or decrease in their presence. Talk about hedging your bets. Up or down and you win. If the level remains steady, I guess it means that your ghost is dead or just resting after a long haunting.

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Tennessee Plagued By Zombies

Conservative zombies are the worst kind. They slowly drone on about the ills of the world –especially about the nasty scientists who could possibly cure them–all the while projecting their own flaws on humanity. Evidently, the non-zombie children aren’t sufficiently curious about science, or, more specifically, skeptical enough about evolution or climate change, two subjects zombies hate. So, Tennessee Conservo-Zombie Party member, Bill Dunn, has drafted legislation he thinks will fix the imagined problem:

This bill requires schools to create an environment that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.

Conservo-zombies are just too slow and dull-witted to see that they’re the ones lacking these skills. When you happily drool over yourself and yammer monotonously and nonsensically like a medieval village-idiot, while insulting every non-zombie as unworthy of the zombie “after-afterlife”, you really shouldn’t be giving others advice.

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Creationist Hides Behind Boy Genius

First, a cutesy news story appears about an autistic boy genius named Jacob Barnett, who possesses a precocious knowledge of mathematics and who disagrees with aspects of the Big Bang Theory.  Then, Glenn Beck latched on to him like he’s a sign from god. In turn, a website — The New American– parasitically clings to the story in a way only a conservative rag could –it declares that Jacob’s work is somehow going to prove Biblical creation by disproving the Big Bang. And apparently, there’s no need for writer Raven Clabough to check her facts as to who first proposed the idea for an expanding universe. She just likes to shoot from the hip.

Christians worldwide should applaud Jacob’s intent to disprove one of the many theories put forth by atheists to explain away the Biblical creation. According to astronomer Paul Steidl, “The big bang was invented specifically for the purpose of doing away with the creation event. An astronomer would laugh at the naivety of anyone who chose to equate the two events.” [my emphasis]

I think Monsignor George Lemaitre, the Catholic priest and astrophysicist who first put forth the “hypothesis of the primeval atom”, which became the Big Bang Theory, would disagree about atheism’s contribution. And Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who gave the Big Bang its pejorative name, would also have to object on the grounds that one of the reasons he and some of his colleagues disliked the Big Bang Theory was because it sounded too much like a creation myth.

(And I was unable to find any source for an astronomer named Paul Steidl. I did, however, find the name linked with The Creation Research Society and its numerous, pseudo-scientific booklets on why astrophysics “supports” Biblical creation.)

A creationist like Raven Clabough pinning her hopes on a child by twisting his words and misinterpreting his intentions is pretty pathetic. A creationist having to rewrite history to do it makes it doubly so. And she shouldn’t bank on Jacob disproving the Big Bang just yet. In his own words he makes an obvious error:

“Otherwise, the carbon would have to be coming out of the stars and hence the Earth, made mostly of carbon, we wouldn’t be here. So I calculated, the time it would take to create 2 percent of the carbon in the universe, it would actually have to be several micro-seconds. Or a couple of nano-seconds, or something like that. An extremely small period of time. Like faster than a snap. That isn’t gonna happen.” [my emphasis]

If I remember correctly, less than one tenth of a percent of the Earth’s crust is carbon. Sorry, but as brainy as Jacob is, his parents should know better than to place this kind of pressure on him or to let him be around creeps like Glenn Beck.  They should take a lesson from Fleischmann and Pons, the two chemists who prematurely announced to the world in 1989 their “discovery of cold fusion.” Boasting before the evidence is in equals colossal embarrassment.

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Filed under Atheism, Christianity, Creationist Of The Month Club

SmartMeter Anxiety –Part 1

A YouTuber from Ontario, Canada has come to the “scientific” conclusion that a SmartMeter is somehow killing off a shrub. For we all know that evil shrubs can only be killed off by modern technology. Garden pests, dehydration, flooding, over-fertilization, under-fertilization, or strangulation by other plants just won’t do the job. It’s electromagnetic fields that are the bane of gardens everywhere.

Out of nerdy curiosity, I downloaded the PDF instructions for the very model of meter this concerned citizen is utilizing, the HF-35C RF Analyzer. The audio “alarms'” from the meter give the false impression that some sort of dangerous overexposure is occurring, like a Geiger counter frantically clicking away. The reality of the RF meter is not so dramatic.

The RF meter can be set to produce audio, indicating the type of  RF signal. But the instructions are deliberately vague on this point and don’t tell the user which devices produce which audio, and suggest that users test it on various electrical sources to get the feel for themselves. So we are left wondering if the user in the video has the experience to match the audio we hear with the SmartMeter being tested.

This is made so much more relevant when we take into account the directionality of the signal. The RF meter detects cellphones, cordless phones, microwave ovens, 3G, and Bluetooth. The instructions are clear –multiple measurements from different directions should be taken in order to determine from where the strongest signal originates. It could, in fact, be coming from behind the user. But he doesn’t turn in a circle, he only gently arcs his arm in front of the SmartMeter.

We also don’t know if all the other potential sources of RF in or around the homes have been turned off.  Is there WiFi in the neighbor’s home, or a cellphone, or 3G? A modern, suburban street is an RF, “music festival.”

What places this video is real doubt is that SmartMeters don’t broadcast a continuous signal. Why would they need to? They’re only measuring electrical usage, which isn’t complex data. We’re not talking about uploading JPEG’s or video files. It’s just a set of numbers. And according to the utilities, SmartMeters only broadcast every 15 minutes for a about one second. So whatever is being measured here, it probably isn’t a SmartMeter.

My baloney detector is going off. It sounds a lot like a cow stomping on a pig. It’s not pretty.

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