Monthly Archives: December 2010

Batman vs. Santa

 Batman vs. Santa

Via Super Punch.

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Religious people take better care of themselves

According to a Gallup poll of very religious, moderately religious, and non-religious people, the more religous you are, the healthier your lifestyle is.

Bummer. This news makes me want to lie around the house eating a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts.

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Gravity

 Gravity

(Of course, the goldfish would be affected by his gravity too…)

By Brett Weber, via Geekiz.

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There is no reason not to do it in the road

 There is no reason not to do it in the road

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Pat Robertson thinks marijuana laws are too harsh

“I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, that kinda thing it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.”

Wow. Cross pot off the list of potential reasons the victims of the next natural disaster deserve it.

From Talking Points Memo.

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South Korea aims a Christmas tree at the North

A church in South Korea has erected a giant Christmas tree near the border with North Korea. It is visible from Kaesong city serves as a symbol of the religious freedom South Koreans enjoy.

Via The Morning News.

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If you hit this sign, you will hit that bridge

 If you hit this sign, you will hit that bridge

From Bits and Pieces, via The Daily What.

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Christians mad that atheists marched in a Christmas Parade

A group of atheists marched in this year’s Christmas parade in Bryan/College Station, Texas. They called themselves the Brazos Valley Vuvuzela Atheist Marching Band, and they played “Jingle Bells” and wished onlookers “happy holidays”, “merry Christmas”, “happy Hannukah”, and “happy Kwanzaa”. Seems pretty harmless. In fact, it seems nice that they wanted to participate in a community event and do so in the spirit of the event.

Sadly, even this was controversial.

“Wasn’t exactly happy about the Christmas Parade this year, I spent many years teaching my children to love and respect other people and to love the fact that they were children of God and I don’t feel that they should be influenced in any other way especially not at a Christmas parade,” said Tina Corgey, who is a lifelong Bryan resident.

Corgey brings her three kids to the B/CS Christmas Parade every year.

She said she was disgusted by what she saw on Sunday.

“If you have younger children they weren’t going to understand but I have older children, a teenager, 8-year-old and they were curious and they asked questions and it was hard for them to believe and understand that there are actually people out there that don’t believe in God,” Corgey said.

Gosh lady, I’m sorry your kids were exposed to something they have trouble understanding. Perhaps that means you should do a better job educating them about their world. Meanwhile, atheists will probably continue to exist, and a lot of us are going to celebrate Christmas also.

Via Alternet.

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Socialism v. Liberalism v. Jonah Goldberg

In what may be the quintessential Jonah Goldberg moment, here he is bemoaning liberals for purveying the stigma around the term “socialism” instead of just using it to describe a set of policies similar to what a lot of mainstream European politicians support. All while talking about a book about Obama and socialism by his NRO colleague called Radical-in-Chief. The comments from his readers further belie his point.

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Terry Hurlbut – heroic feats of ignorance

I was reading a pretty poor anti-atheist article: “Despite billboard, atheism is contrary to logic and against reason”. The author’s main argument is that atheism is a negative and you can’t prove a negative, which indicates that this man has never had a serious discussion about atheism with an actual atheist.

On to the comments section: the very first commenter points out some flaws in the author’s reasoning and suggests that the Bible is pretty illogical. For instance, “Did people really live for hundreds of years?” Which is a fair question to any biblical literalist.

Lucky for us, the first responder to this comment is not just any biblical literalist:

“Did people really live for hundreds of years?” Yes. Pre-Flood, carbon-14 was not present in the vast quantities that pervade our atmosphere today, and cosmogenic C-14 was very rare. During the Flood, the earth’s crust, wracked with magnitude-10-to-12 earthquakes and rich in quartz (which generates electricity when deformed), acted as a gigantic fast-breeding nuclear reactor and produced all of the radionuclides (up to uranium and arguably plutonium) known to man today. That included C-14, produced in tremendous quantities through cluster decay. And when C-14 gets into your system, and then decays, it can wreck whatever molecule (including DNA) of which it became a part. So the reason we *don’t* live hundreds of years today is that we are all suffering from radiation poisoning (or isotopic substitutional poisoning) and have forgotten what it was like not to be subject to such poisoning.

Wow. So Adam lived for 930 years because he wasn’t being poisoned by C-14, which was all released during Noah’s flood. Which is a double-win because that explains why all carbon dating mistakenly says the world is old. Nice. Other commenters in the thread point out that the radiation from a hypothetical increase in C-14 would be fractional compared to all the other radiation we’re exposed to, but still. Dude is not messing around.

And that dude is Terry Hurlbut, a prolific contributor to Examiner.com. His articles include a rumination on the starlight-and-time problem (how did light from stars more than 6000 light-years away get here in a young universe?) and a call to figurative arms against the American Atheists behind a certain billboard in New Jersey. Hurlbut visited the AA’s site to contend with their arguments.

Specifically, they state:

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you don’t believe in the fable of  Adam and Eve and the talking snake.  You probably think it’s a story, created out of ignorance, to explain the origin of life.  You probably don’t believe that Adam literally ate a fruit, resulting in God expelling him and Eve out of the idyllic Garden of Eden.

In other words, you know that’s a myth.

Right so far?

Wrong.

Oh snap. The American Atheists did not expect to be dealing with someone as fargone as Terry Hurlbut. And how fargone is Terry Hurlbut? Enough that Rational Wiki has an article on him — mostly because he’s an administrator on Conservapedia, which explains so much. Hurlbut was also a member of Digg Patriots, a group of conservative Digg users who collaborated to bury liberal stories and promote conservative ones on Digg.

Anyway, I’ll close with another comment excerpt from the original article. Because even if I don’t like the song, I have to admit I like the way this guy sings:

And hel-lo-ooooo! The Flood knocked down all the trees that were growing at the time! All the trees that grow today, sprouted after the Flood, not before. You have no concept of how violent an event the Flood was. Magnitude-10-to-12 earthquakes; a water jet powerful enough to throw 1 percent of the earth’s mass, as water, mud, and rock, into outer space; killer hailstorms that froze the mammoths (many of them standing up); and the formation of a protuberance (the Himalaya Range and the Tibetan Plateau) heavy enough to pull the earth off-balance and move the poles. (Which is what the mammoths were doing in the Arctic region in the first place; that used to be a lush tropical jungle.) Not to mention the big rocks that slammed into the Moon, mostly on one side of it, forming the “seas” and causing the Moon to turn one face toward earth and lock in place.

And there’s more. Did you know that every ancient calendar measured the year as exactly 12 months of 30 days each? Because that’s how it was. But the Flood caused a lot of gravitational settling, with the result that the earth spun faster on its axis, like a figure skater doing a spin by pulling in her arms. Result: a shorter day. At the same time, those big rocks that slammed into one side of the Moon (and always during its crescent phases) slowed it down and caused it to drop into a lower orbit, with the result that the month shortened even more than the day. That’s why a true month (from new moon to new moon) is about 29.5 days, not 30 as it originally was. The ancient Egyptians didn’t figure that out until the court astronomer finally said, “Divine One, the Nile crests earlier in the year with every year! We have been out of our reckoning of the year since our Great Migration from Shinar!” Or words to that effect. (Abraham and his people simply went by the appearance of the new moon and the ripeness of the barley crop, so it didn’t matter to them.) Ask yourself why the Babylonians divided a circle into 360 degrees, and why they used a base of 60 for numbers of medium size? And why the Mayans used a 360-day calendar?

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