Skepdude

From the creator of Video Skepdude

SkepNews-Week ending 5/30/08

  • Egyptian hotel cancels jewish reservation – A trip to Egypt by a Jewish group has been called off after rumors they were going to reclaim nationalized property prompted hotels to cancel bookings. Apparently there was some fear mongering among the Egyptians, due to allegations that the Jews were coming to take back property, confiscated long ago. This is so serious, it seems, that no hotel is willing to accommodate the visitors. Is say these guys are just a bunch of pansies!
  • Zombie Parade blasphemous to Church -“We ask forgiveness for those who yesterday insulted the body of Christ,” said Archbishop Antonio Canizares, quoted in newspaper El Pais. He told worshipers the procession, which also included a Virgin Mary and a Saint Peter, made a mockery of the Catholic celebration of Corpus Christi”. Well, does he really think the parade makes a mockery of the Catholic rituals? I mean they are the ones “eating” the body of Christ and “drinking” his blood! Isn’t that what zombies do?
  • Tax Nonprofits some say – Authorities from the local tax assessor to members of Congress are increasingly challenging the tax-exempt status of nonprofit institutions — ranging from small group homes to wealthy universities — questioning whether they deserve special treatment. Yes, they do deserve the special treatment. I work for a non profit. Why? Because of the mission, the quality of life I get, and the kind of services we provide to people in need. But not for the money. Non profits are already stretched thin trying to make ends meet. If they are forced to pay taxes guess where they’re gonna get the money from? By cutting benefits which is another big plus in recruiting and retaining good workers. Now what kind of incentive would I have to continue working for a non profit if in top of the lower salary my benefits were cut? Quite a few good people would leave and that would only hurt the people that rely on us for the services we provide. So yes, non profits do deserve tax breaks. However, if this goes through I demand that churches and all religious organizations be revoked their privileged tax status as well. And the article, to the author’s credit does mention the 6 evangelical churches that are being investigated for this specific purpose.
  • 37 killed in caste riots in India – Stupid, stupid, stupid! The Gujjars are seeking to reclassify their caste to a lower level, which would allow them to qualify for government jobs and university places reserved for such groups. The government has refused. 37 people died. Wait a minute, these people wanted to be reclassified as a LOWER caste? Am I missing something here? Does lower mean better in the Indian caste system? Any Indian readers of this blog that can clarify that for me?
  • Human rights activist jailed in Saudi Arabia – Apparently for no other reason than being a human rights activist, but we’ll see if more details come out. Who know he may have done something fishy after all, but given that it’s Saudi Arabia I really doubt that.
  • Shrine workers can keep their underwear on – Workers at a shrine in India were being forced to remove their underwear while working at the shrine, due to theft issues. This had been going on for about five years, and now it has been challenged by their union and they are now being allowed to wear them back.
  • Quebec refuses to remove crucifix – The government of the Canadian province of Quebec has rejected a proposal to remove a crucifix from above the speaker’s chair in the parliament.”We cannot erase our history,” said Mr Charest. The crucifix is about 350 years of history in Quebec that none of are ever going to erase, and of a very strong presence, in particular of the Catholic Church.” – Uhhh, by that same logic the German parliament would be justified in having a big swastika on its walls, because hey you cannot erase history. What kind of a crappy argument is that?
  • 19 arrested in Kenya for “witch” burnings – I had previously blogged about this issue. It’s good to hear someone is doing the right thing over there.
  • 3 dead, 17 wounded in Afghanistan over Quran shooting – so some young, bored soldier shoots a book and 3 people die because of that. What the hell is wrong with people that they’re willing to kill themselves and others for some paper and ink? And the president of the US says the soldier will be persecuted? PERSECUTED FOR SHOOTING A BOOK?
  • 15 year old Scientology protester out of the woods – He’s not gonna be charged. It’s a shame we have to rejoice, he shouldn’t have gotten in trouble at all to begin with.
  • Work harder dammit – 82%? Only 82%, get your butts moving atheists.
  • Iranian cleric doesn’t like feminists – he thinks they’re whores and spies. Oh, and women who do not wear the Islamic veil as instructed “turned men into animals.” I see, these guys can keep their penises covered so they want their women to cover up! Freaking geniuses! Oh no monsieur, I’m not a sick fuck…her forehead was showing!
  • Iranian man jailed for supporting feminism – I guess he’s not a whore but he’s probably a spy. And it seems he’s not the only one. Other “spies” have been jailed or are currently still locked up. How freaking insecure are these Iranian men? Is that why they want an atomic weapon (I’m speculating of course, but it makes for a nice pun!)
  • Brazil approves stem cell research – Glad to see that the stem cell research hysteria seems limited to the United States. Of course the Church objected. Why can’t these guys understand that the life of an actual human being is more important than a zygote?
  • Quran critic abducted and to be executed – I already send e-mails to both Obama and Clinton through their campaign websites to do something about this. I doubt they’ll listen, but if more people send in an e-mail maybe this guy won’t die. Let’s all pray!
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May 30, 2008 Posted by | Crimes against Humanity, Critical Thinking, Pseudo-science, Religion, Science, Thinking Out Loud | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Un)Discovery Institute breakthrough-cars designed …by engineers!

Read this and bleed! Yes, the geniuses at the (Un)Discovery Institute have discovered that cars were designed by engineers and somehow they think this supports their retarded hypothesis for ID!

Disclaimer – Foul language will be used profusely throughout this post. If you are easily offended by language I suggest you stop reading now! I’m not fucking kidding!

So, where do I start. How about some quotes from the moronic article.

I recently came across this Hyandai car advertisement, stating: “the i30 name has been chosen to reflect the car’s European styling and its all-round intelligent design.” I decided to see if there were other similar examples, and searches uncovered many examples.

The website “CarReview.com” reviewed the Honda Civic SI and praises its “very modern looking interior, with flowing lines and an intelligent design.” Indeed, Honda’s own website has a page with specs on the Honda S2000 roadster which states, “Further intelligent design details, such as lightweight valve springs and the use of low-friction plating, prove the Honda S2000 is a model of engineering perfection.”

A news article covering Nissan’s new “advanced vehicle-to-traffic-light communication technology” is titled, “Intelligent Design, Transportation-Style, From Nissan.” An article about the Toyota Camry states that, “[t]he 2006 Camry redefines global standards for comfort, safety and intelligent design.” Elsewhere Toyota announces an environment-friendly concept car which gets great fuel economy, in part, because “weight reduction is achieved by intelligent design of interior components, such as the instrument panel and heater modules.” Similarly, an article on Toyota.com about Camry Hybrids calls the car “a world-class sedan that not only redefines global standards for comfort, performance and intelligent design, but also is available, for the first time, with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive.”

A news release advertising a line of RV’s announces: “Intelligent Design Features Incorporated Into Fleetwood’s 2006 Bounder Diesel and Expedition RV’s.” Even Lexus gets into the action, reporting on its Lexus.com website that the inspiration behind the Lexus SC430, “was to create an elegant, sophisticated and intelligent design.” Indeed, a Wall Street Journal blog writes about Chrysler’s efforts to improve their products, titling the article, “The Case for Intelligent Design at Chrysler.”

…………………………………….

Finally, if you want a nice example of an irreducibly complex system, try this YouTube video of a Honda Accord commercial. The commercial ends by saying, “Isn’t it nice when things just work?” You won’t find anyone suggesting that the machines in this commercial “work” due to anything other than intelligent design:

Why does this matter? Because:

These advertisements and reviews don’t say “random-variation-and-unguided-selection-based design.” They say “intelligent design.” And when advertisers mention the “evolution” of a product, you can almost surely bet that it’s intelligently guided “evolution,” not the Darwinian processes of random mutation and unguided natural selection.

Oh, but the author doesn’t want us to read too much into this article.

And before you start to nitpick reasons why don’t like this post, don’t forget my words at the beginning: “Don’t read into this post too much, but take it as a series of curious observations.”

That’s fair enough. I won’t read too much into this post, just what it implies. I think even the IDiot author must accept that there is something to read into this post otherwise he wouldn’t have posted the damn thing, right?

So let’s start at the beginning shall we. THIS IS THE STUPIDEST PRO ID ARGUMENT I HAVE HEARD SO FAR, BAR NONE! It is the “Ultimate Boeing 747” argument on freaking stupidity inducing drugs! Why you ask? Well let me elaborate on that?

First, they make this wild statement: “We’re often told that Darwinism is like a scientific magic bullet that can solve anything.” Who’s fucking telling them and how often are they being told? Because science says no such thing, about ANY of it’s theories. Nothing in this world solves everything and no scientist ever made that claim. Unless they were crazy as shit that is, and there are a few of those around (some employed at the Discovery Institute no doubt). I think I know what’s happening here. These guys are so ignorant about the basics of Evolution (such as it’s name which is not Darwinism, morons!) that THEY THINK we claim it can solve anything. So they’re just a bunch of stupid, confused fucks who are in fact attacking their own ignorance and stupidity, which is a fruitless endeavor because they’re not getting any smarter any time soon, so they’ll never win that fight.

Then they say that “We’re also told that intelligent design threatens to destroy science.”. Shit they got one thing right! Good job IDiots, keep it up!

Then, they make the observation that cars are INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED by engineers. Good so far, cars are in fact designed by engineers and they tend to be pretty intelligent people (although I don’t know where Kia is getting it’s engineers, but that’s another issue completely!). And they then feel the need to point out that cars did not evolve due to “random-variation-and-unguided-selection-based design.” but are intelligently designed. And this is where the dipshits drown in their own piss!

Now what the fuck does the fact that cars were designed have to day about Evolution? Yes cars were designed, so were computers, ice cream cones and countless other things that Science has created. But what kind of implication does that have for living things? None whatsoever! Because IDiots, cars are inanimate objects. They do not reproduce. They have no DNA. Evolution works on living things, which have DNA. So how the fuck are you gonna make an argument about a living thing by looking at a nonliving thing?

Of course cars don’t evolve in the biological sense. Even pigeon breeding is not evolution dipshits, even if it has to do with living things. Evolution is not a directed process, car building is. But even if you run with their example, it still does not work in their favor. Because cars do go through mutations, what do they think the engineers spit out perfect little models on their first try? Think again assholes! And oh yes there is strong selective pressures in the market. Why do they think they’re not driving a Yugo? The only difference is that Evolution is not guided while this process is. And that is their whole point anyway, it is a guided process, thus intelligently designed.

Claiming that because cars are intelligently designed by engineers means that we were designed by a supreme Intelligent Designer is logically equivalent to claiming that because cars run on gasoline we should be gulping down gallons of gasoline everyday to keep ourselves running! Are they willing to do that first?

May 30, 2008 Posted by | Critical Thinking, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Logic, Science | , , | 4 Comments

Taking the “super” out of supernatural

We often hear the word supernatural being thrown around. There’s even a television show, a pretty bad television show, by that same title. But what does supernatural mean? In laymen terms it means outside of nature, something which cannot be explained, cannot be touched by our senses, cannot be felt, smelled. In other words is not comprehensible, something we cannot and should not try to understand or explain.

It is a lame excuse for our ignorance.

See, the word itself does not have any meaning. If something exists, especially if this something can interact with our natural world, it must itself be natural, for we have defined natural as everything that exists. Trees and mountains are natural, the stars and the galaxies are natural, dark matter and dark energy is natural. Everything we know exists is natural. There is nothing supernatural about anything which really is there.

There are natural things which we cannot explain. Our knowledge and science is limited at this point in our existence. So there are things we have yet to discover and the more we discover, through the scientific method, the less will be left to the supernatural. Just like God, the supernatural also has been shrinking and shrinking with every advance of Science. And it will continue to do so as Science advances, but it probably will never die out completely as the nature we live in is full of mysteries, full of things for us to discover. Until we do, they will be branded as supernatural.

Defaulting to a supernatural explanation is anti scientific. Appealing to an unexplained phenomenon as a solution to another unexplained phenomenon is a useless exercise and a science stopper. In this prism, Intelligent Design is a science stopper to the contrary of its proponents claims. Inferring the existence of an Intelligent Designer, without plotting out what this Intelligent Designer should look like or behave like, is childish and scientifically dishonest. ID is the ultimate argument from Ignorance. Defaulting to an explanation which cannot be tested by science, simply because they’re not smart enough to come up with a natural solution, is pseudo-science, I don’t care how many PhDs you may have! A PhD means nothing if you cannot tell the difference between a scientific argument and a philosophical one.

Why are people so scared to admit that they don’t know? Why must they have an answer, even if it is wrong? Why is having a wrong answer better than having no answer? I don’t know, but for a lot of people this seems to be the case. When you’re arguing religion with a believer you will inevitably hear the argument that religion brings comfort to millions of people, as if that has anything to do with it veracity. A lie that makes people feel good is still a lie, and whoever propagates such lies is a liar, and that behavior cannot be justified by the results. The end does not always justify the means.

The supernatural explanation is lame. It is anti scientific. It epitomizes surrender, giving up. It’s message is clear: “Stop doing your science. Stop trying to explain things. The explanation is beyond you, beyond anyone. Stop! Stop! Stop!”. What good can come of that? Would we be here today, as a society, if people had obeyed this order in the past? The never ending quest for excellence, for improvement, for knowledge are the building blocks of Science. Dogma is the building block of the Supernatural. The choice is a no brainer really. Unfortunately lots of people seem to be willing to make the wrong choice.

May 30, 2008 Posted by | Critical Thinking, Logic, Science, Thinking Out Loud | , , , | 2 Comments