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”

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.
Continue reading “An Atheist Participates in Evolution”

Christianity – One Woman’s Lie About Getting Pregnant That Got Way Out of Hand.

Luckily for myself, I have an output which can be taken as satire and fact depending on how I, and the audience feel. Some of my work can be playful, some outright demeaning – though always honest. I recently heard an expert on the historicity of Jesus, after-which I am fully convinced the man not only had no special powers, but most probably didn’t exist. Prior to this I always felt the story of Jesus may have been a few old wives tales strapped to a poor executed man, or someone chosen specifically as a pet project for a church. I never really dissected the evidence for such a person until recently – mostly because it didn’t interest me in the slightest. But as I am not a news source, or bound by certain rules, I would like to make a more humorous proposal, which I fully understand can be disregarded if the historicity account I recently heard was true. Also, we see so much nastiness , it has become normal to click on a link referring to a religion and be utterly appalled at the contents, that’s why I thought something different would be nice.

Some years back I saw a fantastic meme, (said image I sadly cannot find) that spoke in basic terms on how the story of Jesus was one woman’s lie about getting pregnant that just got totally out of control. It was made funnier by over-thinking the actual occurrence. Nowadays a drunk fueled one night stand, which leads to a child, might include a sobering conversation with parents like – “but, I am getting to know him, and he is actually a really nice guy, he has a good job…”

Whereas Mary, in this situation, could never be outdone – “but don’t worry, we will never starve, he can literally feed thousands with a few fish! And you like wine Father – he can turn our murky water into Merlot … you love Merlot!”

Ok, I know this is a jest – but let us delete the account of deities that Jesus has clearly stolen from, let us also delete further accounts of new prophets like Big Mo the Muslim bro, and Joseph Smith the snake oil salesman with magic underwear. Imagine if the only deity and prophet we had was the Christian one, imagine if the only holy book we had was the bible, it wouldn’t be too hard to sit back and think wow, this woman got pregnant and lied her ass off to cover it up.

We all know people like this, exaggerating and squirming out of any responsibility, never to be held accountable. Well, maybe Mary was the same? Maybe she truly got up the duff by some strange traveler and created an outlandish story about angels instead of telling her husband “I got drunk, and smoked something I think I shouldn’t have, and rode a guy like sea biscuit.”


There are two reasons she could not do this, 1) Back then I’m pretty sure they would have been allowed to smoke such items, although I doubt the area had sufficient soil & 2) She should have no idea who sea biscuit is, neither should I, I hated that film. I declare all films based solely around animals to be sub-par … with the exception of Free Willy because it was basically a heart-wrenching documentary about freeing whales (wasn’t it?)

 

Aren’t all mythical beings, God’s and Prophets just an amalgamation of old wives tales with Chinese whispers added on top?


I’m sure the Gospels of The Bible (before they were edited and chosen at the 
council of Nicaea) had many mundane stories that had to be expanded on to be included. Maybe there was no talking snake, but one guy who loved snakes just wouldn’t let it go. And another guy who thought the story of Jesus swimming faster than everyone else wasn’t miraculous enough, so proposed the idea of walking on the water.

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I don’t know – it all seems futile to me. Truth is, every once in a while we must detach ourselves. Atheists like myself spend so much time offended by religion, and disgusted by its wrongdoing – so much so that it literally becomes a part of our lives. It affects us because we actually care, we don’t turn a blind eye. In such a harsh environment, we sometimes need to kick back and relax like one does in real life, times are stressful? Have a beer with friends – and so on.

So laugh after watching religiosity make a fool of our civilization and belittle us to a colony of ants that look to our leader for guidance. Smile at anything that helps us ignore such horrors like diminishing fossil fuels, climate change, degradation of women, suicide bombings, and zealot law makers ruining beautiful countries like the USA due to “The Bible”. We have to just take a deep breath and say things like “Christianity, one woman’s crazy excuse for getting pregnant, that got way out of hand.”

Humor and detachment might help save out sanity – at the very least it will lower our blood pressure.

Not Safe For Life (NSFL): What Happens When Religion Influences Medicine

As I have hinted at in previous articles, particularly my article on why atheists are sometimes angry, when religion mixes with reality, bad things can happen. This is very much true in the realm of medicine. Whether it be faith healing or denying blood transfusions, religion can often have a very negative effect on one’s health when its narrative is accepted over one based on science and evidence.This can be no more clear in a recent case of women seeking compensation from the Irish government for harm caused by an alternative to the caesarian section known as the symphysiotomy.

A symphysiotomy is essentially an alternative of the more common caesarian section for pregnancies in which women cannot give birth in a safe manner. Basically, it involves breaking or sawing a woman’s pelvis in half, so that the baby has more room to come out for women giving birth. It is reported to be a very painful, and can have long lasting negative consequences for both the woman and the fetus involved. It was developed in the late eighteenth century, but quickly fell out of favor due to dismal results. However, Ireland continued to use the procedure well into the 1980s.
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Earth Science Tidbit of the Day

Earth Science Tidbit of the Day

 

It was once believed that female hyenas get so pumped up on androgens during mating season that they actually develop a pseudo-penis. While a slightly more complicated adaptation known as sexual mimicry is probably closer to the truth, androgens do play a role. Sex hormones closely associated with aggression, androgens such as androstenedione may allow female hyenas to develop the kind of attitude and physicality they need to effectively squabble for the food their developing babies require; but this advantage comes at a heavy price. Unlike humans, the vaginal canal of a female hyena is housed inside the clitorus. Thanks to sexual mimicry, this double-duty clitorus can measure up to seven inches in length, making the birth canal an exceptionally long tube of doom. Approximately the diameter of a quarter, some 60% of offspring born to first-time hyena mothers suffocate inside the fleshy contraption which frequently tears during birth. Occasionally, these tears are so severe that the mother bleeds to death.

"Back off George, I've changed my mind."
“Back off George, I’ve changed my mind.”

While female hyenas clearly got the short end of the stick, mating isn’t exactly a cake-walk for males either. Essentially attempting to inseminate a female through a straw, without the help of opposable thumbs, male hyenas may require months of practice before they’re capable of successfully performing the act. If human males were required to mount females from behind and insert their penis unto the female’s protruding vaginal canal by aiming up and back toward themselves simultaneously, I doubt we’d be worried about overpopulation.

For more information on spotted hyenas like the ones pictured above, visit the Encyclopedia of Life.

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In Vitro Fertilization: A Genocide of Our Time

embryo
A slight twinge of confusion, a raised eyebrow, and even an open mouth; this is the face I imagine you are making after making it though that title. You wish to know how someone can establish a connection between the procedure that has been responsible for the birth of approximately five million children in the last thirty five years and the term genocide. Let us begin, shall we?

The process.

Few people besides those who have encountered a need for this procedure know the process specifics aside from the basics. Embryos are taken from the female patient and are either frozen or kept “fresh”, for lack of a better word. The reason being that of probabilities, as the frozen embryos have a higher rate of failure through a variety of natural pregnancy termination occurrences as well as intentional termination when the fetus is known to be ostensibly malformed.

Another reason for freezing the embryos is to attempt multiple zygote implantation, fertilized embryos cultured to a cluster of a few hundred or more cells, to increase the chances of one or more taking hold. This is responsible for the stories we hear of rare cases where extremely numerous births occur to be immediately followed by reality television contracts on “educational” channels.

The risk.

The estimate is, these are very rough approximations as the entire world is included, that there is a 50 to 85 percent failure rate with potentially even worse values in some countries, such as China, with the capabilities but do not report their records. Certain locations have absolutely abysmal success records making it necessary to thoroughly research any fertility clinics before trust can be established and measures confirmed to avoid contamination or misstep. There are very specific factors such Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which causes infertility and which now counts for one in five of all gynecological admissions that reduce the success rates of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) even further.

Basic scientific findings and relevant risk understanding aside HOW IS THIS GENOCIDE?

Continue reading “In Vitro Fertilization: A Genocide of Our Time”