Monday, April 19, 2010

I'd be Happy to Tell You Why [Woo] is Nonsense. But First...

There is a time and a place that I will be happy to discuss with someone why there probably is no god/gods/Gorlock the Mighty/Thor. I would also be happy to tell you why astrology and homeopathy don’t work and why psychics are self-deluded or frauds.

But we have to agree on a few things or else it’s worthless.

1. The scientific method is the best way of describing things and explaining how the universe works. If you have a better way, you’ll need to put it forth with evidence.

2. "Faith" (holding an extraordinary belief without extraordinary evidence) is completely different from holding a position based on evidence or the lack thereof.  If you have trouble understanding this, please see Doggerel #16 You should actually read them all, but I won't hold my breath.

3. We need to agree on what you could show me to change my mind (describe your woo, what observable effects it creates and how could we test it to make sure it really is your woo creating said effects) and what would convince you to change your position.

If you don't put forth the very minimal effort to grant these requests, then I really have no desire to discuss my viewpoint with you. More than likely you'll just testify or witness to me. Which is the same as wasting several minutes of my time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Keep Reminding the Pope Raping Children is Wrong

Joey Ratz never ceases to amaze me with the excrement that comes out of his mouth. He addressed the Holy Child Rape scandal at an over-achieving Thursday mass today, but didn't admit any responsibility or even apologize to the victims.

No, they are the victims.

"I must say, we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word 'repent', which seemed too tough..."
"We Christians"? The last time I checked, raping children wasn't a huge issue in the Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist or Presbyterian circles. Remember to speak for yourself Popey-poo; most of those other groups I mentioned also think you're just some old dude in a nightgown wearing a funny hat.

"But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins ... we realize that it's necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives," Benedict said.
Read that again. The Pope, the moral guide for a majority of the Christian religion, needed the world to tell him that molesting children is wrong.

He needs the fucking world to tell him that putting your hoo-hoo dilly near a kid is wrong.

But it took an attack to make him realize it.

If that's really what it takes Joe, rest assured I will lay into your stupid fucking church, all it's silly magical beliefs and all the harm they cause until I no longer draw breath.

"The pain of repentance, which is a purification and transformation, is a grace because it is renewal and the work of divine mercy..."
I wouldn't know since I don't have to answer to some thing I made up that will burn me in fire forever. But I hope it hurts like hell.

Fucking pompous asshole. (_!_)

Fox News Falls for Pareidolia

Recently, Fox News ran a scare piece on the show "Fox and Friends" comparing the symbol for the Nuclear Security Summit to the crescent shape found on some Muslim nation's flags. Like the flag of Algeria:

No, I don't see it either, but this batshit insane idiot did. So our Friends at Fox promptly scoop their brains out, throw them on the floor and take this as the opportunity to prove that our current president wants to take The Ayatollah on a Rodeo Drive shopping spree followed by a bit of patty-cake.

Of course, Jon Stewart was all over this bullshit like a fat kid on a cupcake.

What fails to get mentioned in even the most well constructed take down of this lunacy is the effect of pareidolia on people.

From The Skeptic's Dictionary:

Pareidolia is a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct.

This is the same illusion that makes people see Jeezus in a cracker or Mary With a Cherry on a tortilla.

So the fact-checkers (if there are any) at Fox News are being completely dishonest. Either they have fallen for this common misperception, making them intellectually dishonest, or they are willfully ignoring the true meaning of the symbol in order to spread their ridiculous notions.

The true model for the emblem? As anyone with even a cursory science education can see,

is the model of a hydrogen atom. Like Fox said - you be the judge.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Bible Believer Challenge

I have an honest question for believers who claim that The Bible is the self-authored inerrant word of God.

Why does God need translation?

I've never heard anyone claim that the original texts of the books of The Bible are still around.  I have heard the claim that the current text orginates from Ancient Greek translations. 

Do any of you read Ancient Greek?  No?  Then how do you know that the translations are correct? 

Faith goes a looong way, I guess.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Woo-Woo Definition of "Science"

I've noticed that when someone writes a post asking people to think critically and apply logic to a really bad idea, some true believer is bound to show up.

One of my favorite types of true believers are the ones that say they agree with us and use the scientific method. So we should accept their opinion that their particular Gris-gris is perfectly acceptable.

My recent run-in with this type was over at Jimmy Blue's place.

The woo basically said that since he believed in the scientific method, his beliefs are valid. Unfortunately he didn't understand that one actually has to apply said method to your belief.

So that has led me to ask myself "what do woos think science is?"

Well, they don't require testing (thereby forgoing any replication of results) and don't require any evidence produced by the scientific method (which is of course, the best way we know how to describe things and explain how the universe works) and most of the time they ignore any contradictory evidence. So this leads me to my conclusion.

The Woo-Woo Definition of Science

I can make up whatever I like the sound of and if other people agree with me, I'm right.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Psychics and Mediums are Cold Readers. That is All.

Since there is absolutely no evidence that spirits exist, it seems even less probable that channeling them is possible. I personally believe that most people claiming to be mediums are actually talented cold readers. Cold reading basically involves gaining information from a willing subject from a series of vague, rapid-fire questions or statements and repeating the information back, coercing the subject to believe the information has been divined of some special power. If you pay careful attention though, the willing subject pays attention only to the "hits" or things the cold reader said that the subject believed had personal significance. The other statments are either disregarded, stated to be significant at some other time, or attributed to another subject. Very willing subjects will even confirm the "misses" as significant when, to the critical listener they were completely wrong.

You'll also notice that cold readers gain all their information from the subject themselves. Rather than make bold statements such as "Your grandfather Bill is here with me and would like you to give his police captain's hat to your daughter Jenny", the cold reader will ask questions like "Whos birthday is in July" and wait for the subject to search their minds for someone who has a birthday in July. The subject then gives the "psychic" information.

Other times, they simply throw out random information and wait for the subject to validate it for them. "I'm seeing bees. Like honeybees?"

What does this mean? Did the subject or someone they know get stung by a bee? See a bee? Eat Honeynut Cheerios for breakfast?

Maybe the "medium" really is being shown a vision of bees by the echo of a dead person's spirit. Or maybe they lying. Or maybe they really do see bees caused by delusion. I know which one I believe is more likely than the rest.

Transcript of Rebecca Rosen on the Dr. Don Show

On January 29th, 2010 self-proclaimed psychic medium Rebecca Rosen was inteviewed by telephone on the Dr. Don Show, the morning program on 99.5 WYCD in Detroit, MI.

You can listen to the interview here.

I was unable to find any transcriptions of her many appearances on radio and television, and felt it necessary to post this for posterity. I'm interested in this person a little moreso than other people who claim psychic powers since we're both from the same city.

I've never transcribed anything, so the punctuation ranges from bad to non-existant. From what I can tell, the four people involved are Dr. Don, Steve Grunwald, Rachel Hunter and Rosen. I have only included the portion of the interview relative to her claimed abilities.

*I will be pointing out the cold reading tactics this woman uses in a later post*

Rebecca Rosen on The Dr. Don Show

STEVE Is there anything weird about me Rebecca this is Grunwald I mean is there anything that's coming through loud and clear like prison time or anything like that

ROSEN Oh gosh are you sure you wanna know

DR. DON I'm sure he wants to know, yeah.

STEVE You can tell me anything. It doesnt matter just let it go

ROSEN Ok so just that you know, it doesn't necessarily work that way but what is your first name


ROSEN Steve?

STEVE Yeah Steven - Steve Grunwald.

ROSEN Steve, Steve, Steve ok well as I hear your name everybody's energy's in their name and what I get is -has your father passed Steve?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Do I Do...

Go to google. Type "what do I do" in the search box.

Their recommendation was not very helpful.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Internet Writes Itself

Watch as Tom Foss performs a top rope elbow drop on an idiot claiming that homosexuality is the reason for child rape and the resulting cover-up in the Catholic church.

He even gets to say "fellating a cactus".

Friday, April 2, 2010

Two Different Ideas

Why don't people separate certain ideas?  Like, maybe there is a magical God/Gods but he/she/it/they didn't create the universe. 

Caught you thought napping?

I've never met anyone claiming there is a God or Gods that could explain it to me.  They usually tell me how we're not supposed to know. 

How do you know that?  And if it exists, how did it create the universe?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Google It!!

I hate when morons B.S. me.  Then they want me to do their research for them.

MORAN:  Google "bigfoot" cuz u r teh stoopid!!!11!

ME:  Google "bigfoot is bullshit".  Now we're even.  Have any more interesting things to convince me of?