Tag Archives: George Bush

Stop Torturing Me With American Stupidity

Only a cold heart wouldn’t admire Christopher Hitchens for his willingness to experience water-boarding firsthand. He broke quickly, but who the hell wants to endure drowning, “simulated” or otherwise?

The past week has left me feeling sick to my stomach. It’s when many of my fellow Americans abandoned their warmbloodness by adamantly defining water-boarding as not torture, but as an acceptable method of “enhanced interrogation”. Forget that there’s a long legal and moral precedent calling it torture.

But there are two points on this subject that I haven’t yet heard anyone bring up. First off, if water-boarding is not to be called torture, then we’re creating a ready-made legal defense for those who water-board. An American citizen held in any foreign land could be treated to this method of interrogation, and we could not stand on any moral, or legal, high ground because we deprived ourselves of that privilege. And our own law enforcement (police, FBI, DEA, etc.) could not be held fully accountable if they chose to water-board prisoners. A defense lawyer could easily argue that the venue of the interrogation makes no difference to the definition of water-boarding. If it’s not torture in the military, it’s not torture in civilian life. Perhaps it’s simply a form of assault. Criminals of all sorts would certainly find a new legal definition advantageous.

The second point is that not calling water-boarding torture shifts the whole scale. equally unpleasant techniques could be redefined, too. Water-boarding deprives a person of oxygen and is called simulated drowning. So, should choking or dunking a person under water or placing a plastic bag over someone’s head for a prolonged period not to be called torture? They’re all as dangerous and as horrible as water-boarding. One could make the case.

This discussion makes me feel like I ‘ve been dragged back in time to a more morally ambiguous era.

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Faith By Any Other Name Is Just As Empty

In a Newsweek opinion peice from September 27th, writer Lisa Miller, “argues against the atheists”. The column is called “Belief Watch”, and Miller’s apologetic scribblings do the vacuous nature of religious belief complete justice. She begins by arguing that atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are unfamiliar with real believers.

First, if 90-odd percent of Americans say they believe in God, it’s unhelpful to dismiss them as silly. Second, when they check that “believe in God” box, a great many people are not talking about the God the atheists rail against—a supernatural being who intervenes in human affairs, who lays down inexplicable laws about sex and diet, punishes violators with the stinking fires of hell and raises the fleshly bodies of the dead.

When over fifty percent of Americans believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, what are we atheists supposed to think? If we include all Christians worldwide, particularly the ones in poorer Catholic and Eastern Orthodox nations, the percentage is probably much higher. This doesn’t take into account the non-democratic Islamic nations, where Western ideas are spat upon, and where basic education is limited to males, and where people are threatened into believing in the all-powerful Allah. So, the actual number of believers in an angry, vengeful, and intervening god is probably much much higher than even Lisa Miller cares to imagine.

Apologetics is a form of faith; it’s faith in faith. Miller finishes her paper-thin argument by hauling in the invisible sacred cow.

Submitting faith to proof is absurd. Reason defines one kind of reality (what we know); faith defines another (what we don’t know). Reasonable believers can live with both at once.

Reasonable believers? Can reason and faith coexist? And how can faith define the unknown? Isn’t the unknown, by its very definition, indefinable? Here, Miller’s mental gymnastics are Olympic quality. And most believers would likely take great offense to her reducing their unshakable faith to an algebraic X. Personally, I prefer to think of all faith simply as a Y.

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Louisiana Flooded By Creationism, Public Education Dies

A bill, the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows the teaching of creationism and other pseudoscientifc ideas in Louisiana’s public schools, has passed through the Louisiana Senate and is awaiting approval by the governor. Read the story.

Shockingly, the bill passed 36-0. Who knew politicians were so pathetically ignorant? Oh Wait. Everyone knew. The power of the bill lies in its vagueness:

[The bill] allows public school teachers to “supplement” their science textbooks with materials of their choosing – leaving a gaping hole for, say, religious or intelligent design content to walk right through.

The creationists failed to stop public schools from teaching evolution, so their new plan is to throw garbage at the students. This way everything stinks. It all has a post-modernistic smell; make creationism and evolution seem equal in the public eye. The bill’s supporters claim:

… the bill is designed to promote critical thinking, strengthen education and help teachers who are confused about what’s acceptable for science classes.

Would they be open to teaching other religions’ creation stories in public schools? I somehow doubt it. How about sorcery and witchcraft? Some religious wackos have insisted on a ban of the Harry Potter books. But why not teach them along side the bible “to promote critical thinking”.   

The bill is a doorway to chaos. Teachers sympathetic to creationism are going to present both creation and evolution, but one more than the other. There’s nothing to stop them from emphasizing creationism. The bill specifically mentions creationism, global warming, and cloning (a.k.a. abortion), three subjects ultraconservative Christians often have a problem with. 

Will the governor sign the bill? More on that at the National Center for Science Education’s website.

 

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Chuck Norris’ Review Of Expelled: The Movie

Chuck

Chuck Norris has written his own review, of sorts, of Expelled: the Movie. It’s actually more of an endorsement than a review, since he really doesn’t describe the movie in any detail. He just makes a sucking noise as he presses his lips up against Ben Stein’s ass. On to the comedy… I mean review.

I saw it last weekend, and I liked it. I think it will wake up many people to the truth. What truth? That educational arenas have become limited learning environments because of biases against God, the Bible and creationism.

Wow! It’s like wading through a cesspool of ignorance. The bias you speak of, Chuck, is toward evidence. If God would only make himself more available for interviews, creationists could offer something more than cheap unsubstantiated conclusions, ones which lead science nowhere. If biologists suddenly acknowledged God’s invisible hand in creation how would it further their work? Something that cannot be measured or analyzed or observed isn’t useful one bit to science. More now from Chuck:

Stein is correct in saying that passionate antagonism and hostility (that parallels any fundamentalist extremism) equally exists in naturalist and Neo-Darwinian camps. Proof of their avid bias easily can be seen in some evolutionists’ reviews of this film. Many are loaded with as much inflammatory language, intolerance and bigotry as any hate-filled group.

Inflammatory language? Who’s the one comparing scientists to Nazis? Ben Stein declared that “Darwinism leads to Social-Darwinism” and that Charles Darwin’s writings inspired the Holocaust. How more inflammatory and hate-filled can one get than by playing the Hitler card? Negative reviews of Expelled criticize Ben Stein for his inaccuracy and his ignorance of science, not for his tenuous connection to a genocidal militaristic mad man. But leave it to creationist liars to be the ultimate hypocrites.

Chuck ends his “review” with a plug for religious freedom and for teaching the Bible in public schools… as a textbook. Freedom of religion is great. We can agree on that. But I just wonder how open Chuck would be to the teaching of religions other than Christianity? Is it really about freedom or about maintaining a Christian monopoly?

P.S. I do like the title of Chuck’s review, “Win Ben Stein’s Monkey”. It’s clever.

www.TheDarwinReport.com

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Is Ben Stein Intelligently Designed?

Ben Stein making A Fool Of Himself

I guess actually reading Darwin’s books was too difficult for Ben Stein, so instead he stood in front of a statue and contemplated what evolution might be like. This is, of course, Stein trying to mark evolution as a religion, and not a science, something the Intelligent Design crowd has been trying to do for years.  

Arthur Caplan, a Bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, has written a stinging review of Expelled: The Movie titled Intelligent design film far worse than stupid: Ben Stein’s so-called documentary ‘Expelled’ isn’t just bad, it’s immoral. It really gets at the root of Intelligent Design propaganda. In the movie, Ben Stein links Darwinism with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Never mind that other creationists blame Darwin for communism as well as capitalism. Doesn’t Stein like capitalism?

The challenge for creationists is for them to make their point without mentioning evolution. I know scientists can speak of evolution without even broaching the subject of a creation or design. But propagandists like Ben Stein cannot further their cause without tearing down evolutionary biology. The reason is they have nothing to support their claims. Intelligent design isn’t a science and cannot stand alone.  

And I want to know why Stein brings religion into the Intelligent Design argument, when for years other Intelligent Design proponents have tried to keep the two completely separate. Is ID science or religion? You creationists need to make up your minds.

www.TheDarwinReport.com

 

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Intelligent Design Garbage

Biologist Kenneth Miller destroys intelligent design by pointing out how in living creatures the function of a structure can change over time. And if the function is mutable nothing can ever be irreducibly complex. Example: The stinger in honey bees is a modified egg depositor (ovipositor), which is why male bees cannot sting. The natural world is filled with tinkering and re-tinkering, not design. But, of course, ID supporters just ignore the lack of evidence for irreducible complexity and they keep on vomiting up pseudoscientific garbage.     

www.TheDarwinReport.com

 

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Vote For Huckabee, The Ignorant Troglodyte

Watch the video. It’s horribly sad and terrifying. And it’s set in the 21st century. Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who’s actually leading the republican polls, equated believing in evolution with godlessness. Isn’t that a slap in the face of all those who accept modern science and believe in a god? Not that they don’t need slapping. Ha Ha. And wasn’t citizen Huckabee clever when he dodged the question about the age of the Earth? Obviously, he didn’t want to offend the young-Earth creationists and their delicate sensibilities. Not that they don’t need offending.

We’ve decided. We dislike Huckabee, a lot. Many people call him charming and sincere. However, we don’t care about such shallow qualifications. He’s a major hypocrite. He’s happy to use his faith as a campaign tool, but he finds a question on evolution inappropriate. He said:

It’s interesting that that questions would even be asked of someone running for president. I’m not planning on writing the curriculum for an 8th grade science book. I’m asking for the opportunity to be president of the United States.

As a college graduate, if he cannot make a contribution to an 8th grade science text, he’s simply not qualified to be president of the United States. Come on, it’s the 8th grade. We’re also pretty sure that if one of Huckabee’s fellow candidates were an atheist, he would make their lack of faith a disqualifying point. He wants candidates vetted for belief in god, but not belief in science. Such unabashed and shameless creationism stinks of cynicism and callowness.

Many politicians have their fingers on the pulse of America 24/7. What the majority of Americans believe, they believe. They’re mindless opportunists. If Huckabee is a spineless self-seeker, that’s a good reason not to vote for him. On the other hand, if he really believes what he says about evolution, then he’s an anti-intellectual troglodyte, a great reason not to vote for him. His comments on Creation speak volumes:

How did he do it, when did he do it, and how long did he take? I don’t honestly know.

He did it, and that’s what’s important.

Spreading the seeds of apathy is characteristic of the creationist mentality. Don’t ask burdensome questions, just believe. A fine message to be sending to the youth of America. Just what we need, another President who prefers not to ask questions. We get the feeling Huckabee isn’t a big reader either.

From the way he mispronounced the the word “primate”, we think he’s a sincere creationist. We also think he would set America’s educational standards back even farther than they already are, if he were elected. Every time the leadership in Washington even tacitly supports creationism, wackos all over the US take that as a starting signal for their movement to force intelligent design creationism or regular old creationism into the public schools. It’s also pressure for biology teachers to water down the evolution curriculum. A vote for Huckabee is a step backwards in time, to the Dark Ages.

 

www.TheDarwinReport.com

 

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