Focus on the Family is Spreading HIV for the Lord

The Trump administration has teamed up with Focus on the Family to fight the HIV and AIDS epidemic happening in South Africa and we are going to break down the numbers RIGHT NOW.

An affiliate of Focus on the Family (FOTF) received a $49,505 grant under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

A 200 piece Bulk Ultra Thin Large Quantity Super Tough Latex Condom package costs = $35.63 *giggle

So using the whole grant: $49,505 / $35.63 = we get 1389.42 packages

And in total 1389 packages x 200 condoms = 277,800 condoms for just under $50,000

That could allow us to do the following:
277,800 condoms / 7000 students = 39 condoms for each student. This would also leave over 4600 condoms left over ’cause rounding.

So what do we have for $49,505? 7,000 students would get 39 condoms (think back to how many condoms YOU used when you were still in school or does this just prove that I was a nerd…) which could make a serious difference in the safe sexual exploration of budding young adults. But why the 7,000 number? What is the relevance? Ask, and ye shall receive…

“Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family is tasked with using these funds to prevent HIV and AIDS by implementing its global abstinence-only purity pledge program, called ‘No Apologies,’ to 7,000 ‘learners’ in 90 schools in South Africa between October 2017 and September 2018.”

So yeah, that money goes into a salary, for an evangelical, to tell children: Don’t have sex ’cause evil demon fire. To which I assume, the children said “suuuuuuure old white western person”, then promptly did whatever the hell they wanted as soon as the bell rang (I know I would have).

But there is also this: a quick search online shows a box of 12 condoms is 479 Rands or roughly $40 US Dollars

South Africa falls somewhere in the middle of the industrialized world, with a median salary at the dollar equivalent of US $36,180, adjusted for purchasing power parity. So how often with a salary of under 40K would you buy $40 condoms? Remember, that salary value has to trickle down to the kids and asking for condom money is probably one of the LAST things teens are willing to do. So a teen, in a country with a equalized median income of roughly 61% of the US median income, has to pay 4 times what we do here for the same quantity of HIV preventing “Devil Socks”.

But even better, studies have shown that if you teach ACTUAL SEXUAL HEALTH EDUCATION the unwanted pregnancy rate, STD rate, and general sexual stupidity quotient of a region is drastically reduced.

So spend that money on condoms or education if you really want to help, because the numbers clearly show that if you use Focus on the Family’s godly word you will spread disease and pestilence in what I can only say is a very Biblical way.

If I was a Shriner . . .

Something that I haven’t experienced in a while happened over the weekend. I was helping my grandfather’s friends in the Shriners load 400lbs of Vidalia onions they are storing at my shop, after cordial greetings and solid tough guy man hand shakes of course, when the one gentleman asks if I was a Shriner.
My response was a light head shake in the negatory and a simple “nope”. He, as was to be expected, then asked “when I would be a Shriner”. Knowing as I do, the organization at hand and the impossibility of my fraternite’ within it, I immediately knew it was walking on eggshells time.

My response was the standard that I give to such invitations from similar groups, smiling sincerely now, “due to differences in philosophy or world view which you and my grandfather can discuss if you wish, I simply would not be able to join.”

Now came a moment of contemplation on his part, he looked to the onions in the bed of the truck considering what such a difference could be, his eyes then widened, turned to me and asked “do you believe in god?”

I was still smiling, for I knew where this was going from the moment we started our dance. I simply and calmly, with a smile still, answered “No I don’t” and then waited. Two things were about to happen, a debate or an abrupt end to the discussion.

To my approval, it was simply the end of the conversation. But something interesting started, otherwise why would I be telling you about this. He immediately had to get away from me, he quickly changed in posture and moved to the far side of the struck where my grandfather and his other friend were talking. No words, just staring at me uncertainly, just a need to back away and regroup. Regaining some of his posture he shook my hand right before they left but it was cold and wet now, no longer the healthy rigid shake or eye contact from a mere moment before.

The Shriners expect a deistic admission, at least, to be granted into their ranks and I wonder if they will ever realize the number of people like me who could enthusiastically and very heavily help in person and or financially if they could look beyond such trivial matters.

So, I think of Christopher Hitchens and one of his devious maxims: “Here is my challenge. Let someone name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever.” Henceforth The Foundation Beyond Belief is where I still give my charity and shall be for some time as we still deal with the diversity of identity in these “most modern of times”.

-Thoughts from Chris Hanna 

The Great Evolution Debate Notes

This blog post is a quick look inside Host Chris Hanna’s mind as he prepped for the debate. I thought this would be good for those who want to read what went into our side of the debate. 

Don’t forget to check out the episode right here!

Listen to the episode right here!

Opening statement (10 mins)
Things to ask in rebuttal to Aaron’s opening
His definition of evolution: 

Science and fine tuning

Looking from the wrong direction: if you start at the solution (the theist way) then it’s amazing that life is so perfectly

Why the universe exists

Science explain morality

Science brainwashing

Evolutionists can’t explain the origin of life

Abiogenesis is not evolution

Big bang is not evolution

Preagers big bangs bull

Says we have never seen evolution

Evolutionism would be moraless and we should be animals

Evolution is not destiny, it is not fate.

-Evolution is neither moral nor immoral. It just is, and we make of it what we will. I have tried to show that two things we can make of it are that it’s simple and it’s marvelous.

Second law of Thermodynamics… Inaccurate use

Stalin and evolutionists and immorality

Immorality and murder abroad…

Why is the final size of a whale indicative of problems for its growth and for evolution.

Camel look down a giraffe and heart problem (mixed species?)

Beaver with wearable teeth?

Birds that work together to survive?

Upright tree confirms a global flood?
Chris Hanna’s Opening
So it goes… Some of you might recognize that phrasing from the late great Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse 5” as the allegorical end to life. Evolution is a dead theory; a claim professed wantonly, casually, and without refrain or source as our visitor told us in his last debate with Chris. Often, as Darwin so eloquently said:
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
So it goes indeed, as you have no doubt just heard; the goalposts have already been moved, the sharp and heartless lines of science cast aside for philosophical demand for absolutes. I am not here to offer you, our dear listener, any form of salvation, guarantee, or forever quiet your questioning mind. In fact I am here to do the opposite, the depth and brevity of the theory of evolution is the culmination of human kind’s short period of genuine investigative time on this earth.
From the undeniable fossil record, to the predictability of Darwin’s initial hypotheses, to the modification of evolution by gene sequencing known as neo-Darwinism, to the current Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, employing fossil transitions in palaeontology, and complex cellular mechanisms in developmental biology, and to the future in a proposed extended evolutionary synthesis, which would account for the effects of non-genetic inheritance modes, such as epigenetics, parental effects, ecological and cultural inheritance, and evolvability.
Yes, for those of you who do not know, and possibly for my opponent here, the basic foundation of Jean-Baptiste Lamarckian Inheritance, also known as soft evolution, that was given mechanical validity through Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and other notable publications, has acted as the underlying structure for further progress of the laws and predictions made by evolution resulting in the tools used by all modern biology.  
In every case of small or large modification to the theory of evolution, incorrect assumptions were replaced by verifiable, testable, and repeatable experimental data; all of this growth has further cemented its validity elevating the scientific consensus to that of fact.
The argument is as follows: the theory of gravity, the spherical earth, heliocentricity, the germ theory of disease, and the theory of relativity are all so empirically valid that even small changes are unlikely. Of course science is a probabilistic creature making absolutes all but impossible; still the likelihood of information calling into question the inherent truth to any of these foundational structures of modern science, including evolution, are so remote that the scientific community has in turn given its verdict, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they are true. You really don’t think the recent spate of NBA stars professing a flat earth will really change anything do you?
So, let us first establish the skeleton before we attempt to populate the evolutionary creature with a functioning muscular system. The modern theory of evolution is as follows: Life on earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species— perhaps a self-replicating molecule—that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection. There are six basic tenets that make up the theory evolution, gradualism, speciation, common ancestry, natural selection, and nonselective mechanisms of evolutionary change.
The first is the idea of evolution itself. This simply means that a species undergoes genetic change over time. That is, over many generations a species can evolve into something quite different, and those differences are based on changes in the DNA, which originate as mutations.

The second part of evolutionary theory is the idea of gradualism. It takes many generations to produce a substantial evolutionary change, such as the evolution of birds from reptiles.

The Third, that of splitting, or, more accurately, speciation.

speciation simply means the evolution of different groups that can’t interbreed — that is, groups that can’t exchange genes.

species don’t have to split. 

circumstances allow populations to evolve enough differences that they are no longer able to interbreed. 

The vast majority of species — more than 99 percent of them — go extinct without leaving any descendants.

we all share fundamental traits. Among these are the 

biochemical pathways that we use to produce energy, 

our standard four-letter DNA code, 

how that code is read and translated into proteins. 

The fourth, common ancestry; we can always look back in time, using either DNA sequences or fossils, and find descendants joining at their ancestors.

By sequencing the DNA of various species and measuring how similar these sequences are, we can reconstruct their evolutionary relationships.

This is the point where the second tier of evolution was added as mentioned earlier.

The fifth part of evolutionary theory is natural selection. 

explains apparent design in nature by a purely materialistic process that doesn’t require creation or guidance by supernatural forces.

Over time, the population will gradually become more and more suited to its environment as helpful mutations arise and spread through the population, while deleterious ones are weeded out. …It requires only that individuals of a species vary genetically in their ability to survive and reproduce in their environment.

Evolution is like an is not a master architect but more like a tinkerer who cannot design a building from scratch, but must build every new structure by adapting a preexisting building, keeping the structure habitable all the while. (13)

So natural selection does not yield perfection — only improvements over what came before. It produces fitter, not the fittest.

Richard Dawkins provided the most concise definition of natural selection: it is “the nonrandom survival of random variants.” 

The sixth processes other than natural selection can cause evolutionary change.

epigenetics, the study of biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off

DNA from humans is made up of approximately 3 billion nucleotide bases. There are four fundamental types of bases that comprise DNA – adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine, commonly abbreviated as A, C, G, and T, respectively.

The sequence, or the order, of the bases is what determines our life instructions. Interestingly enough, our DNA sequence is mostly similar to that of a chimpanzee.

Within the 3 billion bases, there are about 20,000+ genes. Genes are specific sequences of bases that provide instructions on how to make important proteins – complex molecules that trigger various biological actions to carry out life functions.

parental effects a situation where the phenotype of an organism is determined not only by the environment it experiences and its genotype, but also by the environment and genotype of its mother 

ecological and cultural inheritance, the process in which an organism alters its own (or other species’) environment, often but not always in a manner that increases its chances of survival

Evolvability the capacity of a system for adaptive evolution. Evolvability is the ability of a population of organisms to not merely generate genetic diversity, but to generate adaptive genetic diversity, and thereby evolve through natural selection
Whew, take a breath, the theory of evolution is quite vast, complex, and highly driven by experts at the very extent of human knowledge and understanding. Experts, I remind you, that while aggressively critical of each other’s work since they derive status and prestige from disproving proposed theorems and papers, are in almost uniform consensus on the validity of evolution.
So what now? Evidence you say? Oh damn right my good little budding scientists. Finishing out this segment will be cases of transitional fossils, evolutionary adaptations and the mechanisms where genuine evolution has been seen in the lab, and finally realtime, in the lifetime of one human, speciation that has has occurred will show up in the Q and A segments
While we may speculate about the details, the existence of transitional fossils—and the evolution of birds from reptiles—is fact. Fossils like Archaeopteryx and its later relatives show a mixture of birdlike and early reptilian traits, and they occur at the right time in the fossil record. Scientists predicted that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs, and, sure enough, we find theropod dinosaurs with feathers. We see a progression in time from early theropods having thin, filamentous body coverings to later ones with distinct feathers, probably adept gliders. What we see in bird evolution is the refashioning of old features (forelimbs with fingers and thin filaments on the skin) into new ones (fingerless wings and feathers)—just as evolutionary theory predicts.

Australopithecus afarensis, or Lucy, is a personal favorite of mine, dating back 3.2 million years. She was between twenty and thirty years old, three and a half feet tall, weighing a scant sixty pounds, and possibly afflicted with arthritis. But most important, she walked on two legs. In a bipedally walking primate like ourselves, the femurs angle in toward each other from the hips so that the center of gravity stays in one place while walking, allowing an efficient fore-and-aft bipedal stride. In knucklewalking apes, the femurs are slightly splayed out, making them bowlegged. When they try to walk upright, they waddle awkwardly. If the femurs angle toward the middle, it’s bipedal. And Lucy’s angle in—at almost the same angle as that of modern humans. She walked upright. Her pelvis too resembles that of modern humans far more than that of modern chimps. Her head was distinctly ape like with a torso that appears a mixture of the two, and with a lower section that is almost identical to modern humans.
Human transitional fossils 20 species from over 6000 individual skeletons: 

Sahelanthropus tchadensis, 

Orrorin tugenensis, 

Ardipithecus kadabba, 

Ardipithecus ramidus, 

Australopithecus anamensis,  

Kenyanthropus platyops, 

Australopithecus afarensis, 

Australopithecus garhi, 

Paranthropus aethiopicus, 

Australopithecus africanus, 

Homo rudolfensis, 

Australopithecus sediba, 

Homo habilis,

Paranthropus robustus, 

Paranthropus boisei, 

Homo heidelbergensis, 

Homo erectus, 

Homo floresiensis, 

Homo neanderthalensis, 

Homo sapiens
5 min rebuttals each.

3 min Break

7 min Aaron Questions Time

7 min Chris Question Time
Please take a moment to explain the existence of useless and often detrimental vestigial features

the recurrence of pelvic and leg bones in whales and snakes,

the wings of flightless birds, 

the human Coccyx, 

the human appendix, 

wisdom teeth that have to be surgically removed, 

the human plica semilunaris which is like the nictitating membrane, or third eyelid, of other animals, and much more.

Now explain Atavisms, or the recurrence of ancestral traits in some not all like vestigial traits.

human embryonic processes where human embryos move through almost identical phases of mimicry of a fish embryo then amphibian, reptile, mammal, primate, and finally human? 

a combination of a tail, fishlike gill arches, and a fishlike circulatory system doesn’t seem necessary for a human embryo? | …The probable answer — and it’s a good one — involves recognizing that as one species evolves into another, the descendant inherits the developmental program of its ancestor: that is all the genes that form ancestral structures

Also some human babies have been born with a coccygeal projection which is, you guessed it, a tail

Some whales have wholly developed legs projecting from their vestigial hips, and horses often have two extra toes mimicking their fossilized ancestors? 

Dont forget Lanugo, its the full coat of hair that covers a human fetus’ body and is usually shed but sometimes mommy and daddy get a hairy baby.

Please explain the difference between Micro and Macro evolution and why one is possible but not the other.

Where is the line specifically

What about Ring Species? The Greenish Warbler of northern India migrated northeast and northwest around mountains that acted as a geographic barrier, the two northern forms viridanus and plumbeitarsus are highly distinct genetically, when the two expanding fronts met in central Siberia, they were different enough that they do not interbreed.

http://www.zoology.ubc.ca/~irwin/greenishwarblers.html 

What about the new species of plants that we have directly seen evolve in the wild through polyploidy and allopolyploidy, synthesized in the lab to verify

How does the polyploid species form in the first place? We needn’t go into the messy details here except to say that it involves the formation of a hybrid between the two parental species followed by a series of steps in which those hybrids produce rare pollen or eggs carrying double sets of chromosomes (these are called unreduced gametes). Fusion of these gametes produces a polyploid individual in only two generations. And all of these steps have been documented in both the greenhouse and in nature.

Because of this, you might have thought that such speciation would be very rare indeed. But it isn’t. Given that a single plant can produce millions of eggs and pollen grains, an improbable event eventually becomes probable.

This new allopolyploid has since radiated into five separate, morphologically diverse species: G. mustelinum, G. darwinii, G. barbadense, G. tomentosum, and the most important global supplier of agriculturally used cotton fiber G. hirsutm

5 min Aaron Question Time

5 min Chris Question Time
Noah’s evolution party consisted of of 1,877,920 species or 3,755,840 individual animals on the ark, we need only six more pairs of each species of bird to make it come out to seven pairs. That brings our count up to a grand total of 3,858,920 animals aboard the ark—two of each species, except birds which number fourteen each.

This equates to 187 new species a year for the conservative estimate of 10,000 year old earth and 313 if the earth is only 6,000 years old.

Where are all these species and how did they get to their current locations of equilibrium now?

Where are their fossilized trails of tears, as they most certainly would have been when considering a penguin walking down Mount Ararat and heading for ice…

Do vaccines and medicine work?

Vaccinations and Medicine resistance are major issues for the future of humankind, why are some no longer as effective as they used to be?

Another prime example of selection is resistance to penicillin. When it was introduced in the early 1940s, penicillin was a miracle drug against Staphylococcus aureus (“staph”). 

In 1941, the drug could wipe out every strain of staph in the world. Now, seventy years later, more than 95 percent of staph strains are resistant to penicillin. 

After mutations made Staph stronger the drug industry came up with a new antibiotic, methicillin, but even that is now becoming useless due to newer mutations. 

In both cases, scientists have identified the precise changes in the bacterial DNA that conferred drug resistance. 

Viruses, the smallest form of evolvable life, have also evolved resistance to antiviral drugs, most notably AZT (azidothymidine), designed to prevent the HIV virus from replicating in an infected body. 

Now we keep AIDS at bay with a daily three-drug cocktail, and if history is any guide, this too will eventually stop working. The evolution of resistance creates an arms race between humans and microorganisms

But fortunately there are some spectacular cases of microorganisms that haven’t succeeded in evolving resistance. (

We must remember that the theory of evolution doesn’t predict that everything will evolve: if the right mutations can’t or don’t arise, evolution won’t happen.) 

Streptococcus, for example, causes “strep throat, ” a common infection in children. These bacteria have failed to evolve even the slightest resistance to penicillin, which remains the treatment of choice. 

unlike the influenza virus, polio and measles viruses have not evolved resistance to the vaccines that have now been used for over fifty years.
3 min break

10 min Audience Questions

6 min closing arguments -whoever is making the positive claim goes first

The modern theory of evolution is as follows: Life on earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species— perhaps a self-replicating molecule—that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection.  
In an exhausted conclusion I defer to you dear listener, to the evidence given tonight and included in the links of my notes available immediately after this live show is concluded, to the simplicity of evolution compared to the alarmist fears that scientific materialism will invade our humanity like the hollywood robot revolution perversions of logic against the unpredictable emotional human obsolescence. Evolution is simply a theory about the process and patterns of life’s diversification, not a grand philosophical scheme about the meaning of life. it can’t tell us what to do, or how we should behave, or what we should believe in.. And this is the big problem for many believers, who want to find in the story of our origins a reason for our existence, and a sense of how to behave. 

If you can’t think of an observation that could disprove a theory, that theory simply isn’t scientific and this is a major failing for ID and Creationism in general as the presuppositions simply assert infallible ultimatums from the onset. While the heart of “materialism” or “naturalism” suggests that, evolution is true. And, any transcendent or metaphysical explanation that imposes itself upon the scientific and natural world are de facto discounted as irrelevant and absurd. However, conversely, transcendence and metaphysics are thus free from the imposition of scientific inquiry and invalidation. Hence my allusions to the segregation from belief and evolution including its acceptance throughout the progressive segment of the theistic population.
What we have seen here is well formed argumentative skills and a general formation of a worldview that is threatened, they believe, by the last universal common ancestor and the theory of evolution. But the genuine dog and cat ignorance of species and evoleitionFortunately as I just said he is rapidly becoming a minority as the largest christian faiths are evolving to survive. Once again:
Evolution is neither moral nor immoral. It just is, and we make of it what we will. I have tried to show that two things we can make of it are that it’s simple and it’s marvelous.
But there is something even more wondrous. We are the one creature to whom natural selection has bequeathed a brain complex enough to comprehend the laws that govern the universe. And we should be proud that we are the only species that has figured out how we came to be.

Sources

Review and Notes from Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

https://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/why-evolution-is-true-notes-review/

file:///C:/Users/Chris/Downloads/why-evolution-is-true-jerry-a-coyne.pdf

Nature article about Polyploids, Allopolyploids, and heredity including new synthesized species

http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v110/n2/full/hdy201279a.html 

More Polyploidy

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/artful-amoeba/for-plants-polyploidy-is-not-a-four-letter-word/ 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyploid#Allopolyploidy

Noah’s ridiculous story

https://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark

Human fossil ancestry database

http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils 

Shrinking Iguanas

https://asknature.org/strategy/body-shrinks-under-harsh-conditions/

Sea horses

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090522-seahorses-stand-up.html

Pascal’s Climate Change Wager.

I know the title is confusing so no, Pascal never made such a wager, but we all know his stance on gambling with God.  The ultimate bluff over eternity one might say.  

 

  1. God is, or God is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
  2. A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. You must wager (it is not optional).
  4. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  5. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.
  6. But some cannot believe. They should then ‘at least learn your inability to believe…’ and ‘Endeavour then to convince’ themselves.

 

The natural conclusion, to what Daniel Dennett would surely call a poor logic pump, is that we should believe, because if the sky king does not exist and we lived in servitude the whole of our lives we have lost nothing.  Casting the myriad of problems with this oft debunked stream of logic aside let’s play a game with the very people who use this to validate their beliefs.

 

It is regularly shown in all forms of media that there is a strong correlation to conservatism, religiosity, and the denial of climate change or global warming.  Within this group of scientific repudiators and devout, God fearing, holy rollers we are quite likely to run into Pascal and his trusty tool of insincere faith.

 

Let us now send it back shall we?

  1. Climate change is, or Climate change is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
  2. A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. You must wager (it is not optional).
  4. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that Climate Change is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  5. Wager, then, without hesitation that Climate Change is. There is here an extension of the fragile ecosystem within which we live, a relatively cool space between ice ages, and more time for us to find a solution to future changes that could make Earth almost uninhabitable.  The Chance of gain is one of finite probabilities measuring in the possibility that we may stave off global catastrophe over assuming inevitable destruction or speeding headlong into that pending doom
  6. But some cannot believe. They should then ‘at least learn your inability to believe…’ and ‘Endeavour then to convince’ themselves.

 

Simply put, what do you have to lose by believing in climate change? If climate change is inevitable, uncontrollable, divine, or doesn’t exist and we spent our time respecting the earth’s resources what have we lost?

An Atheist Participates in Evolution: Broken Ears and Fears

The fourth of July has come and gone once again with a bit more of a bang in Michigan than usual; the legalization of airborne fireworks reducing neighborhoods to the quiet relaxing sounds of Afghanistan and Syria, not to mention rampant pet terror at what could only be “The End of Days”. All this culminating as I sat watching the Kentwood Michigan fireworks display with an uneasy feeling as to the development of my baby girl in utero and my own evolutionary failings.

 

For those of you who haven’t gathered from the above pseudonym I am fond of, Deafilosophy, I am an 85-90 percent deaf atheist with no memory of ever having full spectrum hearing.

 

The reason my handicap is important for a post about the evolution of a tiny life has to do with genetics, mutation, protein mis-folding, and bullying.  I know that last one is a bit of a stretch but, patience grasshopper, all will be tied in a neat little bow before long.

Continue reading “An Atheist Participates in Evolution: Broken Ears and Fears”

Evil Empire: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act for Adoption

Governor Rick Snyder would rather have 13,000 children languish in state sponsored homes and foster care than let any one of them be adopted by two loving men or women. There I said it, we all know thats what he really means. The recently rushed and signed (June 11) bill by the Michigan Governor is essentially the Religious Freedom Restoration Act for adoption and has already drawn the ire of the ACLU. The same derogatory and incendiary language for refusing services based on “sincerely held religious beliefs” has been passed in Michigan with little or no mention from any social media sphere even with the almost identical Indiana bill, complete with collective uproar, happening only a short while ago.. Sad proof that without prompt most of us just simply don’t care enough to participate unless CNN or Fox News scream it into our lives.

 

I have heard three arguments for the support of such a bill and they are as follows:

 

  1. “This is about making sure we get the largest number of kids in forever families,” Snyder said in a phone interview. “The more opportunities and organizations we have that are doing a good job of placing people in loving families, isn’t that better for all of us?”
  2. The moral and traditional two parent, dual sex household is the best and only acceptable home for an adopted child.
  3. There is an economic reason for turning away these homosexual couples and the state cannot handle any more costs.

 

Well the first one is just a quotation of Governor Snyder’s deceitful and distraction oriented word salad. Here is another similar response from Governor Snyder before we start analyzing his diatribe:

 

“We are focused on ensuring that as many children are adopted to as many loving families as possible regardless of their makeup.”

 

lonely-604086_640

Essentially what he is saying is that since the number of children adopted every year is going up (85% in 2014 up from 70% in 2011) the state of Michigan can justify the religiously bigoted beliefs of certain organizations even if it results in 13,000 leftover children who live yet another year as wards of the state.

 

My argument for this always reverts back to the civil rights movements of the 60’s and simply replaces the couple requesting the adoption of an eager, desperate, and loving child from a homosexual couple to a black couple. Religious justifications were then and are still used for the discrimination of African American i.e. black people all over the world including the US. This new law would allow, hypothetically speaking of course, the new Ken Ham Creation Adoption Center to refuse in allowing a black male and female couple (cursed with the mark of Cain or Ham) to adopt a new baby as long as they gave a list of other adoption centers they could try or give them the state index resource list. I would like even FOX news to try to justify that over the round of racist applause from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (note to self stay out of Wyoming).
Continue reading “Evil Empire: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act for Adoption”

“Can’t You See” by Deafilosophy

As the video says, this is about life and what makes me hurt.  It was recorded in a basement session that I just hit record on. Forgive the lack of editing and raw nature of the audio but I think it matters when it is just from within.  From the people ill never meet who deserve better to the tiny dancer right here at home, I love everyone and we can do this.  We CAN change the world, you just have to dream.
Thanks for watching

 

 

EDIT: Yes I know the gay marriage was upheld by the SCOTUS earlier today but this was recorded earlier…

An Atheist Participates in Evolution

© Deafilosophy

An argument made consistently for the existence of God, and consequently against the scientific, agnostic, or atheistic position, is that evolution is a false theory.  I have heard noodly logic and word soup at every level of this claim from “It is completely impossible,”  to, “There is no evidence,” to, “There has been microevolution but not macro evolution,” and finally, “There are no transitional fossils.” (Coincidentally, this particular claim frequently comes from people who have never looked for them and stare blankly when you mention Archaeopteryx).

 

I mention these a priori because I wish to concentrate on a specific time scale or event that widely solidifies faith and belief for some people.  The birth of a child is regularly used as evidence of the gift of creation, the hand of God, or a miracle – that biological materials from two separate animals can combine to create a wholly independent (in time) creature.  I’ve chosen those nouns intentionally to include the entirety of birth in the animal kingdom, of which we are a part and not the top as we are frequently reminded by microorganisms (quite a limited dominion over all, but I digress).

 

http://i.imgur.com/7s0C9F3.gifv#embed

Yes, that is my actual baby.  Visualized in real time with the help of science, physics, and a willing female human.

 

Now, onto the meaning of that title.  “An atheist participates in evolution” does not really imply anything, as I would simply wager the number of people who accept the concept of atheism over agnosticism and theism probably agree that we are all quite eagerly participating in evolution.  But in this case, I have a more playful meaning.  I have recently created a human inside my wife (I know that sounds strange but I think it is fun to say and read).  We are expecting a little girl in mid October and this level of grown-up excitement is truly new to me.
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Letter from the Editor: I’m Just Tired

As the title says, I’m just tired, exhausted, worn down, exasperated… Does anyone else feel it?

 

Wait, let me elaborate before you sigh and cast your weary gaze to the back button, expecting this to be nothing but a series of complaints from a millennial who actually has to work for his money. You would be quite wrong, of course, as I rarely give people exactly what they expect.

 

As an activist, blogger, podcast host, engineer, homeowner, small business owner, husband, responsible pet owner, and soon to be father of a tiny human female I accept the weariness this will dispel. I understand that life can be filled with siestas and 40 hour cog in the machine workweeks if one can willingly submit. I understand all of these things but that is not the reason for my fatigue, it is the repetition.

 

obama-nazi-communist-muslim

Repetition in argumentation, repetition in political idiocy, repetition in online bigotry, repetition in financial irresponsibility, repetition of traditional oppression, and the list goes on and on…

 

I am so tired of the same arguments from the right wing arch conservatives: gay marriage will destroy all moral structure ending in malicious bestiality, deregulation of the economy will create more jobs not slave wages and serfdom, tax breaks-school funding / social programming cuts will force the poor to actually work, and Obama is a Muslim Nazi.

 

I am so tired of reading stories of political leaders announcing their intentions to take big money out of politics when we can see the list of their campaign contributors are the top wall street mega corporations. I am tired of politicians charged with protecting the American people putting “Freedom”, “Patriot”, or “Religious Freedom” at the beginning of some of the most subversive legislation to ever attack our basic human rights. And, I am tired of a two party system that uses unethical financial bullying to prevent decent discourse and the diversity of the people from being represented in our “Democratic Republic” election cycles.
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A response to “Religion and science can we talk?”

We here at Atheist Analysis don’t usually create formal response letters to blogs or news stories unless they are of immense social and humanistic consequence, but recently a link was given to me that lead to a progressive christian blog.  This more compromising version of faith is, to me, less harmful and overall a step in the right general direction, while still providing enough material for all of us here on the blog team to continue picking apart the hypocrisy; it’s the cutting off heads and hellfire damnation that is lacking – for the better, most would concede.

 

For this short reply blogger Moonlit History and I, Deafilosophy (or Chris Hanna as there are a lot of pseudonyms being thrown around at the moment), will be commenting on some of the points, perspectives, open-ended questions, and conclusions made in the article linked above.  So without further ado, I will begin.

 

Deafilosophy

Aside from the horrendous grammar in the title of the article at hand, or, more accurately, the lack thereof, I was initially quite content with just perusing the content with a smile as any time people of faith accept science over empty pseudo-superlatives I get all warm and fuzzy inside.  But, that title just ate at me. Let’s try, “Religion and Science: Can We Talk?” instead.  There, isn’t that better?

 

As an engineer and open atheist almost all my life, I did not know atheism had a name until high school. I am quite familiar with most of the apologetic and progressive arguments for God that absorb scientific explanations.  Immediately the fine tuning argument is casually implied with an invocation of the cosmological constant, and, of course, mentioning Albert Einstein, a noted Spinozan deist at best.

 

Two things and then I will give the floor to my esteemed colleague; the fine tuning argument is the most basic argument for the prime mover, for classical deism, and it is also the limit of our understanding of the universe at the moment.  But using this argument to prove the personal Christian God is to overextend and ultimately, as C.S. Lewis was so apt to do, try to prove too much with too little:

 

“Sigmund Freud wrote that the voice of reason was small, but very persistent. C. S. Lewis tried to prove too much by opining that the presence of a conscience indicated the divine spark” (Hitchens, “god is not Great,” 2007, p. 256).
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