Over at Slacker Astronomy we have a new podcast which includes a fascinating interview with Timothy Ferris by yours truly. Give it a listen!
Global warming deniers love to point out that, yes, the earth is warming but it is not related to human activity. They really, really want to believe that we can continue to pump shit into the atmosphere without bound and never suffer any ill effects from it. It is this belief, which is not backed up by any science whatsoever, that leads virtually all Right Wingers to reject the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community.
The image at right is taken from A report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It shows the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases over the last 10,000 years. The ancient measurements are from ice cores.
What is crystal clear on this graph is the effect of the industrial revolution on the amount of these gases in the atmosphere. The graph steepens at about 1800 and then gets even steeper around 1960.
The rise in the concentration of global warming gases is correlated to the global average temperature and the global average sea level and is inversely correlated with the northern hemisphere snow cover. (See the link above for the plots.) This report is from an international body of climate scientists.
How can you look at this data and the correlation with global climate change and conclude that anthropogenic climate change is impossible?
You can’t. People that do so are swayed more by political or economic arguments than climate science. They pull out opinions from minority scientific views and claim it backs up their claim. They ignore the data because it is an inconvenient truth.
The facts here are common sense: more greenhouse gases means more greenhouse effect which means higher temperatures, a changing climate and a dangerous situation that may be beyond our ability to solve.
The conservative approach is to be cautious. I wonder why conservatives don’t see it that way?
A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Can you believe this shit? Hell has frozen over. Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now.
I’m so sick of the fucking Catholic League. They are a bunch of thugs that try to squash any speech which does not honor their mythological gods. You know, the Catholic pantheon of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mary and a gazillion saints. The Christians are becoming just as bad as the Muslims, with this false idea that we all need to revere whom they revere. It’s crap and we shouldn’t put up with it. It is not “hate speech”, it is simply the speech of people who have no reason whatsoever to treat him, her of the other guy with reverence.
I don’t expect you to revere whom I revere and you should not expect me to revere who you revere.
I like to debate. I do it with all sorts of people, online and offline. I like to probe other people’s views, examine my own views, challenge ideas, have my own ideas challenged and hopefully learn things in the process.
To me, the sign of an honest debate is when small little areas of agreement are forged along the way. Many, many times I will concede points or agree with general sentiments even as I disagree with a broader point. I do this for 2 reasons, one, I am honest with myself and I’m not arguing for arguments sake, so I don’t take a partisan or opposition view on every little issue. I’m honest. Two, it’s a show of good faith in the debate that I’m not going to argue the sky is green just because you say it is blue. I’ll concede the obvious and my hope is that my opponent will concede the obvious, too.
The debates I tire of, like my recent outbursts at Say Anything, are the ones where no middle ground is sought, where nothing is ever conceded and where the goal is to trounce and not to engage. It’s no longer valid debate when the ideas because secondary to gamesmanship.
In addition, in a many-against-one hogpile, which I can’t imagine is fun for anybody except the most petty amongst us, you are damned no matter what you do. For example, I was called a coward if I didn’t come back but a loser if I did! There was no action I could take where the hooligans wouldn’t accuse me of being wrong.
I regret at times that I don’t ignore the retards and engage with the rational ones. There were a few comments that had honest questions with an honest possibility of debate. Those voices, unfortunately, are drowned out by the assholes who are looking for blood and honor from the mob.
Not one of the cowards at Say Anything have commented on my many liberal rantings here at lolife.com. I guess they get scared when they are not in a pack. I suspect, with the wonders of google and technorati, they may someday appear. Be kind to them.
BTW, I didn’t learn a single thing over there. Not one new piece of information. If a liberal says the sky is blue, we’d get a long lecture about how at night the sky is black, clouds can make the sky gray and near sunset at the horizon things get a reddish hue. Liberals can not say anything true, ever, at Say Anything. That is why I shan’t be reading or commenting there anymore.
2 Focus Inn lead me to this Right Wing blog. The author seems to me to be a libertarian style conservative and a Republican. So he’s wrong, in my opinion, about 95% of the time. I do agree with libertarians on some things. I also agree with conservatives on some things, although usually with a liberal twist that they find disagreeable.
Ironically, in the comments to a post called Get The Government Out Of The Bathroom we ended up in a discussion about same-sex marriage. It quickly deteriorated into a hog pile on yours truly by the righties. One individual, HG, brings it to clear focus for us:
Just the shame associated with homosexual behavior ought to speak volumes. It is completely unbecoming and unnatural for a male to act like a female in order to bed another male. It is completely unnatural to spend hours training one’s self to speak with a lisp. It is completely unnatural for a rectum to be used as a vagina. Homosexuality is disgusting and repugnant and made a mockery by most of society. We laugh and ridicule homosexuality for its completely unnatural characteristics. –HG
The next time any of you gentlemen have the misfortune of having a queer speak to you with a lisp… you know the combination of the three consonants “sth”, (my last experience was the McDonald’s drive thru), just let your countenance reflect your attitude. You know the attitude… “How dare you speak queer to me!” So that when he says to you “What kinda sthausthe would you like wisth sthat?” Just look at him with that attitude, make eye contact and say “WHAT?!?!” (you know, like “What the hell did you say to me?”) And watch how quickly that phony lisp vanishes. It is hilarious. –HG
This is the unashamed agenda of the Right — to vilify and demean gay people because they think it is immoral. Says one commenter:
He did say through His Apostle Paul in Roman’s, Chapter One and in several other places throughout Holy Writ that He condemns homosexual behavior, and He alone will judge those that engage in such behavior on Judgment Day. So, if you do not like people of faith speaking against homosexual conduct, your argument is with Christ and you must condemn Him for saying something objectionable, most Christians are only repeating what Christ has said in His Word. That is not to say that homosexuals cannot repent, turn to Christ and be saved and healed; only that if they do not they will suffer at the Hand of the Father because they have chosen to reject His merciful offer of Salvation in and through His Son. — Neiman
So God said so. Plus, they are the majority! They have no need of people like me:
Your secular humanist opinion of our more moderate values is of no concern, nor should it be. –Bat One
They have the votes so we “secular humanists” can just go to hell, literally, preferably.
My question is: how long are backwards-ass theocratic bigots like this going to be in the majority and what are you doing to speed up their decline?
I read an unfavorable review of The God Delusion. The link I clicked to get there suggested it was written by a “rational atheist”. (Like there is any other kind.) If the reviewer is an atheist, they are the world’s most religiously sympathetic atheist I’ve ever seen. I don’t care if they are an atheist or not and I don’t really care that they don’t like the book. What bothers me is the review is full of nonsense. For example:
This leads to a form of confirmation bias on the part of atheists. They look into the distant past, see some actions we disapprove of in the modern world, notice that the people who chose the actions had a religious world view, and conclude that the religious world view caused the problem.
Fuck the past. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Spanish Inquisition or the Crusades, the two examples the reviewer defends. Religion is a detrimental force in the world today in very tangible ways. Let’s run a few of them down.
1. Abstinence-only sex education programs. The “pro life” crowd has caused more unwanted babies in the world than everyone else combined. Teenagers do have sex and the result of the ignorance campaign perpetrated by the religious right has caused the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancies. It hasn’t stopped people from having sex.
2. Undermining science education. People are proud activists on a crusade to force science education to take their religious views into account. That is absurd. Science literacy is bad enough in this world without having these zealots try to cram their idealogical agenda into it. Send your kids to a religious school if you want them to learn how the earth is 6,000 years old and God zapped Adam and Eve fully into existence in an instant. Leave your religion out of our public education system.
3. Politics. Religious litmus tests are one of the downfalls of our democracy here in the USA. Politicians must pander to the religious. You’ll recall pastors kicking people out of their congregation for supporting the wrong candidate. How about the Republican debate where only one or two hands went up in support of evolution? Religious people are insuring that we can only choose from superstitious
retards theists for public office.
4. War. Sad but true, the religious right are the same people who want America to dominate the world through military power. I don’t know why this correlation is true, but it is. They want us to crush the Palestinians, bomb Iran, invade Iraq and go to war with North Korea. What is it about “thou shalt not kill” that is unclear? What about the compassion and gentleness of Jesus Christ leads you to believe he would support modern warfare? When you mention this they always bring up some old testament crap. And this is without mentioning the explicit religious conflicts like Iraq, the Balkans, Northern Ireland and many others. Religion causes war today.
They go on:
Dawkins spends a great deal of time damning religion, but spends very little time highlighting the real-world positive effects of an atheistic world view. That is because, beyond the sciences, atheists really donâ€™t have anything to crow about.
The sciences are unarguably the most important thing, period, in terms of human progress ever. Science has tangibly improved lives, saved lives, raised standards of living and helped us to unlock tremendous power. Science is successful because it is naturalistic, a dirty word to theists. So the writer should have said “beyond the most important thing to humanity ever…”. Yes, idiot, its science that we’re concerned about. Atheism is largely a political movement to protect science and rational thinking. Invoking ancient scripture or mythical beings is the antithesis of scientific thinking. I don’t care if y’all do it at home, just leave it out of our schools and our politics.
â€œThe God Delusionâ€ is a trite, shallow unimaginative book.
I’ve just started reading The God Delusion and I think it is brilliant, concise, fair and well written. The reviewer is obviously offended by the rough handling of religion in the book. As Truman said, “I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.” The truth hurts when Dawkins is telling it.