Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Christian “rock-brain” science – and why my son stopped debating with Christians:

I learned a new term (Christian rock-brain science) last month while watching a video of my son explaining why he no longer debates with Christians on the subjects of science. One of his friends from the university where he currently works, had been in a heated debate with a group young Christians, who had recently received graduate degrees in “creation biology” from a Christian university.

My son’s friend, area of study is in evolutionary biology, and having never been exposed to religious doctrine, and he simply couldn’t understand why these creation biologists, were trying bridge together the science of both cosmology and biological evolution as being the same science (this would be like saying that the same form of science one would use in studying the rings around the planet Saturn, could also be used in the study of plant biology, and the rings in trees here on earth as well).

My son said that he entered this debate, simply out of curiosity, and to help his friend explain to these Christians, the difference in the science of trying to gain insight into how the universe came into being, and the science of how life got started here on earth, and how life has evolved.

To help protect my son’s identity, I will only say that he is currently working with a team of other particle physicists, who just like the tens of thousands of other scientists all around the world, who are currently, or will be analyzing the data from the experiments that are now being conducted at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

My son said that talking science with these “Christian scientists,” was just like trying to explain the fundamentals of science to a group of pre-school children - creation biology, starts with the same premise as that of the creation myth(s) in the bible. That some creator, created the universe, and exclusively for the purpose of creating life here on earth; and therefore that everything perceived within reality, must also be, all part of this same plan. As I watched the video of the highlights of my son’s part in this debate, it quickly became clear that these Christians had no understanding of the difference between scientific theory, and simple mindless conjecture – and they maintained the argument, that the whole vast universe was simply created for mankind to live here on earth. None of them seemed to have any real conception, of just how large the universe actually is, or the fact that it’s still expanding and growing even bigger with every second of every day. And when my son offered the fact that the universe is still expanding, as evidence supporting the fact that the universe started with a big bang – one of the Christians got up and screamed at my son: “you can’t prove any of this,” and as the other Christians wildly applauded this Christians ignorant remark. My son then simply replied: “and I can’t prove anything to a rock either – but the fact is that no one would argue, whether or not a real rock is in fact a real rock, unless they also, have a rock for a brain.” And at that point, this enraged Christian got up and slammed down a pocket sized copy of a bible on the table in front of my son and screamed: “in this bible is the word of god, and that is all of the proof that I will ever need – and you’ll remember my words today, when you’re burning in hell.” At that point after this ignorant outburst, all of the real scientists decided that it was time to end this debate with these ignorant Christian morons.

Later on in this video, my son expressed that he felt extremely sad for these young Christians, as some of them, had wasted up to 4 years of their lives, learning this mindless and worthless bullshit, and now this was the best that they could do, in a debate with real scientists?

I received this video in a large packet of videos and other stuff that our sons had worked on, and put
together last summer, as a gift for my fiftieth birthday - and I must say that this is the best birthday gift, that I have ever received!

This was the first time that I have seen my son in a heated debate with deluded and ignorant, Christian idiots and morons, and the first time I noticed, that he does the same thing that I used to do, when I had ignorant Christians spewing their deluded bullshit at me – he just sat there, with a wide grin on his face. Today, if I would have been there in my son’s position, that video would have been filled with words like: “you ignorant Christian motherfuckers” and the debate would have only lasted about 5 minutes, before it had turned into a fucking brawl!

What I still find the most astounding is what Christians and other religious people, simply can’t seem to understand, is the fact that science has long ago dismissed the relevance in which any of these manmade god(s) and creation myth(s), play in the role of life and the universe – man simply created god(s) and all of these silly stories of creation – and science is no longer looking for who created the universe, and if it was created just for us. Today, we are simply trying to gain real insight into how the universe came into being – and as scientists, today we fully understand that whatever or whoever may have started it all, as humans, we are all just along for the ride – and we’re not trying to understand which “god” is in the driver’s seat either, we are simply trying to understand, what’s doing the driving,

The person giving the presentation of the LHC in the video below is a bright and rising star, in the world of particle physics (Brian Cox). Well worth watching!

My Higher-Power Sheep’s-Ass Strikes Again:

Re-posted from The Dyslectic Atheist

For months now, I have been trying figure out why my higher power stuffed sheep’s-ass has been stuck on fives. The first time that I prayed to my higher-power stuffed sheep’s ass for a new laptop computer, that same day, I won a 500 dollar pull-tab. The next time that I wanted to buy another new computer, I prayed again to my higher-power stuffed sheep’s ass, and within the next few days, I had won two five hundred dollar prizes on one single scratch lottery ticket for a total of 1,000 dollars – then after finding another computer that I wanted to buy, I again prayed to my higher-power sheep’s-ass for the funds to buy the new computer, hell, this time I even told my friends that my higher-power stuffed sheep’s-ass would come through again with the cash for my new computer, and they even laughed at me, and they said that I was the one who was stuck – “stuck on stupid,” then the next day when I won 500 dollars, and used it to pay for my new computer – one of my friends even accused me of being a Satanist, and my other friend simply became a believer that there is power in the sheep’s-ass! But still, I wondered, just why my higher-power stuffed sheep’s-ass, was stuck on fives?

I wondered – if it was because, I had come from a family of five (I had 2 siblings and 2 parents for a total of five). Or the fact that both my best friend and I, both have families of five (we both have 3 boys, and our wives, for a total of five?). Needless to say, this was a troubling mystery for me – then that’s when it hit me – it wasn’t my sheep who was stuck on the fives, it was me – I was only asking my sheep’s-ass for computers and other stuff that cost under five hundred dollars, and if I wanted to win more money, I simply needed to set my sights higher – I was only asking my higher-power stuffed sheep’s-ass for cheep computers and other stuff – it wasn’t my sheep being the tight-ass, it was me being the tight-ass, my higher-power stuffed sheep’s-ass, was simply giving me exactly what I was asking for (cheap shit). So the next day, I prayed to my higher-power stuffed sheep’s ass, and I asked my higher-power sheep’s ass to deal with a problem that I have been dealing with every since 2002, and among the other thing that I prayed to my higher-power sheep’s-ass that day for, were a new Macbook pro computer, a new HDTV, and a new Canon camera just like the one that Baconsbud recently received as a gift. Then this past Monday, I even told some of my friends, that my higher-power stuffed sheep’s-ass, would be buying me a new Macbook computer this week.

My younger friend responded: “all of that stuff that you are saying that your sheep’s-ass is going to buy for you this week, all costs almost 4,000 dollars; and that stupid sheep of yours has about the same chance of coming through with the 4,000 dollars, as I have of riding a flying pig to school this next Monday” (well my little piss-head friend, its Saturday, so you better start looking for a flying-pig, for your trip to school on Monday!). and when I told my other friend – the one who has 3 boys just like me, for a total five members in his family just like me – he responded about the same as my younger friend did – this despite the fact that I had told him, that like I had said in my last post, that I was starting to understand this stuffed sheep’s-ass theist thing, and I was now ready so shoot for 5,000?

This past Thursday started out as sort of a weird day, the night before it had snowed, and it was real cold that day. Both I and my friend were real bored, so we decided to take advantage of the snowy day to work on a project that we had been putting off for months – we took a trip to a nearby town to get parts for the project, and as we were driving into this town, and we approached a cemetery just on the outside of the town, I heard a sheep barking loudly – I heard: “Baaaaa, Baaaaa, Baaaaa.” I then asked my friend if he had heard the sheep bark too – he said that he thought the sound was simply caused by the tires running over the ice and snow – at that point I asked my friend to turn around and go back to where we had first heard the sound. As we headed back, and as we neared the gates to the cemetery again, I heard the sheep start barking again, so I asked my friend to pull the car over and park. I then got out and walked to the gates of the cemetery – and as I stood there, the sheep began barking again; I heard: “ Baaaaa, Baaaaa, Baaaaa” repeated many times, and I lost count at about 12. So I walked back to the car, and we then turned around, and continued into the town, and then picked up our parts. As we were leaving the town, we decided to stop at a store and buy some groceries, and again, just like all of the times before – the wheel on the shopping cart that I was pushing, started spinning around in circles, and making a sound like a sheep barking – I heard: “Baaaaa, Baaaaa, Baaaaa.” I had never even been in this store before, so I asked my friend to stay with our cart and our groceries while I went to see if this store had a lottery vending machine. When I found it, I again heard: “Baaaaa, Baaaaa, Baaaaa.” So just like all of the other times before, I pulled two 20s out of my pocket, and bought two tickets. Then when we returned to the car, my friend said: “OK, you sheep-theist, so let’s see that 5,000 dollar winning ticket that you have been talking about all week now.”

So I scratched the first one, he laughed and said: “you just lost 20 dollars.” So I scratched the second one, and we both discovered that it was a 5,000 dollar winner – my friend then became real quiet, and we didn’t even say one word to each other on the trip back home.

What I have learned is to be careful what I pray for, because my higher-power stuffed sheep’s ass gives me exactly what I pray for, and nothing more – so today, I started praying to my higher-power stuffed sheep’s ass, for a 60 foot yacht, a new house and other stuff – I’ll let you know what happens

My higher-power stuffed sheep’s-ass is still stuck on fives – even the winning number of the prize on the ticket, has a five in it (15).

And to my young friend, who thinks that I am a Satan worshiper, I bought you a new sweater and some other warm clothing (it’s going to be very cold, riding that flying pig to school on Monday!).

Saturday, 15 January 2011

He has raised – my higher power sheep has risen:

Awhile back I wrote a post about my higher-power stuffed sheep, (sheep-us) and how as a joke, how I sometimes pray to my higher-power sheep (my higher power stuffed sheep’s ass) and how I invoke the name of my higher power sheep’s-ass, when I purchase lottery tickets and pull-tabs and the likes. I explained about how my higher-power stuffed sheep’s-ass and I had won a $500 pull-tab at a bar, and about the hot streak that we had with the winning scratch lottery tickets months earlier. Then about 3 months ago, I decided to put my higher power stuffed sheep’s-ass to the test again, after the release of 2 new scratch tickets that I found most interesting. One of the tickets costs 5 dollars, and has an 80,000 dollar top prize, and the other ticket costs 20 dollars, and has a top prize of 1 million dollars, and I decided to start playing the games just for fun.

I have known about the inherent problems associated with gambling every since I was a teenager; and I personally believe, that there are far more people addicted to gambling, than there are people who are addicted to drugs – so back when I was a teenager, I had developed a simple strategy for managing the inherent risks of gambling (quit when I’m still ahead). So I started with 100 dollars, and after I had blessed the money in the name of my higher power stuffed sheep’s-ass, I purchased my first 60 dollars worth of tickets, and I won over 400 dollars - by the end of my first week, me and my higher power sheep’s-ass, had really racked up some big bucks. Our hot streak then continued for about the next 5 weeks, but then it got cold, and I had even resigned to the thought that maybe I had been a little too greedy, and my overworked higher power sheep’s-ass had now disowned me, or my higher power stuffed sheep’s-ass, had died or something.

Still having about 70% of the total prizes that I had won while on our hot streak, I simply decided to quit playing the lottery tickets while I was still ahead, and way ahead!

I hadn’t played the lottery tickets in over 3 weeks; however, I always retain all of the tickets that I buy so I can check them again – having dyslexia, I sometimes over look the winning tickets. Numbers like 32, I will see as 23 and 13 as 31 and so on. Then about a week ago, as I was going through a pile of about 50 tickets looking for winners that I might have overlooked, I found 2 five dollar winners, and 1 fifty dollar winning ticket that I had purchased weeks earlier – as I sat there looking at this big pile of worthless lottery tickets, I cried out loud (LOL): “Oh my higher power stuffed sheep’s-ass, why have thou forsaken me?”

Then about 2 hours later, I had went on a planed shopping trip to the store for food and other stuff – and as I was pushing my shopping cart past the lottery vending machine as I was exiting the store, one of the wheels on the shopping cart, started spinning around in circles, and making a sound like a sheep barking – I heard: “Baaaaa, Baaaaa, Baaaaa” so I stopped pushing the cart, and when I looked to my right, staring me right in my face, was my favorite lottery ticket – so without even a second thought, I pulled two 20s out of my wallet, and said out loud (LOL): “in the name of my higher power stuffed sheep’s-ass, I’m going to win money today.”

I then returned home, and about 2 hours later, I scratched the first ticket (020) and discovered that it was a 50 dollar winner, so I had won 10 dollars – I then looked at my higher power stuffed sheep’s-ass, and said out loud (LOL): “only 10 dollars, you cheap fucking sheep.” Then I scratched the other one (021), and found two 500 dollar winners on that ticket – I then spent the next few hours (LOL), praising and repenting to my sheep -- my higher-power stuffed sheep’s-ass moves in mysterious ways!

Life the Universe and reality:

This is one of my favorite images taken by the Hubble of columns of old, cool interstellar hydrogen, and other gases, that are giving birth to new stars. The longest being about 4 light years from top to bottom – it is believed that our own sun, and all life here on earth, all got its start in much the way.

By the time that I had first seen this eerie image of a part of the Eagle Nebula, I had already developed an understanding of the process from which all of the elements within the universe were formed – the creation of all the known elements in the universe, began with the fusion of hydrogen within stars. The fact is that everything here on earth, was all manufacture in the birth, life and death of stars – and there is not one single credible scientist who would dispute this fact. Our current understanding of the universe is derived from the countless observations, experimentation and critical thinking; we then develop theories which are based on the most logical explanations of our observations at the time. These theories are then tested and retested, and subjected to even more meticulous observation and experimentation; however, our current scientific methods, are not about proving anything as absolute truth – it’s more about removing information which is absolutely false – science is simply a tool used to help us understand reality.

Our current understanding of the age of the universe dates it at about 14.5 billion years old, and the age of the planet that we live on, at about 4.5 billion years old. And through meticulous observations, and scientific research, we are now developing a greater understanding of how life began here on earth, and how it evolved into what we observe today. Through science, we are now just beginning understand, just how that all of the elements of which comprise all life here on our planet, were all forged over billions and billions of years within stars.

Our current understanding of the information which is absolutely false, are that the earth only being 6,000 – 10,000 years old, and that the universe and humans, along with all of the other plant life and animals here on earth, all magically appeared, and all in their current forms, and all within the first 6 days of “creation.”

I can understand why at a time, when humans had absolutely no real understanding of life and the universe, just why they simply made up stories, in an attempt to explain the things which they had little or no understanding of – today, however, holding on to such stories as absolute truth, simply verges on insanity – and as a parent, I felt no more obligation for allowing our children, to even being exposed to religious insanity, as I felt obligated in allowing them to be exposed to thieves, liars or pedophiles.

I clearly remember the day, when I first seen this image. A long time friend of mine, and a friend of our family (he is also a physicist and an avid astronomer), who was staying in our home while on his vacation. He had brought with him a few gifts for our children, one of which were large posters of this image. Our children then place the posters on their bedroom walls next to their other posters of space images and other stuff – with the exception of our 5 year old son, who was frightened of the poster, he said because he thought that the image on the poster, looked like monsters – our 2 older children simply loved the posters.

Our house guest spent most of the week, talking with me and the children about cosmology and other science. About 3 weeks after our friend’s visit, our oldest son and I, were looking at the poster of this image, and talking about the origins of life here on earth. That day, he told me that he had realized for the first time – that the universe simply was not made just for us, and that we are not at the center of the universe, or even at the center of our own galaxy either – and we exist, simply of a consequence of the universe existing, and not the other way around. And that he believed that everywhere in the universe where life can possibly exist, that it probably does – I thought, not bad for a 14 year old atheist!