The Religious Science division here at The Tim Channel, along with the assistance of the Non Overlapping Magisteria Department at Brigham Young University, has been hard at work trying to parse out the more difficult missing details of the young Earth creation ‘theory’ recently seen popularized in a debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye.
As we approach the 2014 election season, never forget the blood-lust of the Republican party cheering on President Bush the Torturer while watching him commit the most heinous acts of brutality against humanity in the history of America. All on the basis of “legal” advice from this one guy – John Yoo.
I was absolutely shocked when I first heard the exchange, and you don’t have to read too far between the lines to wonder where the question of torturing children’s testicles came from in the first place. It’s not the kind of question that gets randomly tossed out. It’s yet another piece of ‘missing history’.
Prove It or Lose It
If there is a truly moral Christian soldier among the whole lot of the otherwise worthless religious wankers, I’d sure like to see it put to a better use than public prayers after the Church pot luck social.
To all the God slobbering, Jeebus’ loving, creationist-leaning, lunatic fringe Christians out there:
I once heard a song about how much Jeebus loved the children, all the children of the world. Red and Yellow. Black and White. They were precious in his sight.
If that’s still true, then how about taking time out of your busy schedules of homosexual hating and helping do what you know Jeebus would want you to do for the children? Speak out forcefully from your pulpits for justice to be served! I don’t think Jeebus would have approved of slicing up little Iraqi kids testicles with razors to make their daddy “confess” to the whereabouts of Bush’s fantasy weapons. There’s no stature of limitations on war crimes.
Another day, another dead religious-idiot snake handler. This time, the fellow had a high enough profile to have scored some National Geographic facetime (Why, National Geographic, Why?). I’ll assume the best and figure that National Geographic was running a high brow bit on the lunatic fringe of religious society and not trying to go head-to-head with a bunch of waterlogged homophobic Duck Hunters on another network. If I’m wrong, don’t correct me on the assumption. I’m old and cranky enough already, living in the world of George Jetson with neighbors apparently beamed in from The Flintstones. For what it’s worth, I’m feeling quite well today, but then I’m a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine, and given the ongoing freak show of the fundamentalists, I’m assured plenty of healthful smiles to keep me fit.
As a matter of curiosity, and with a nod to the photo of the white guy in the masthead above (and the white guy killed today), are there any/many instances of Black preachers dying this way? I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Most of the Black people I know, religiously affixed as they are, seem happy enough just bashing homosexuals and have enough common sense, having escaped slavery and all, not to be messing with deadly snakes. I’ll leave that question to the racial sociology department at JSU or Howard to work out. I’m always happy to toss out a free doctoral dissertation topic for a young Black college student having trouble finding a topic.
Jeebus’ Law and Order
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)
In spite of many previous snake bites, one of which led to the loss of the finger of the aforementioned God slobberer, as well as previous troubles with law enforcement over the transport and ownership of his deadly vermin, today’s Darwin Award nominee was undeterred. The courts in the US, particularly those in the former slave states, are apparently reluctant to enforce long standing laws against public displays of deadly snakes in church services, so this is what we get to read about every other year or so.
Ken Ham’s Killing Spree to Continue
The southern court system, in declining to prosecute a previous case of snake bite induced religious death, stated that there would be no deterrent effect for prosecuting this type of crime, so hardened were the biblical felons in their proclivities and so devoted were the practitioners and followers of this particular religious aberration. There are literally places in the US where you can get charged with child endangerment for leaving your minor child at home alone for ten minutes to run to the grocery store but it’s perfectly ok to drag them into a sermon where a preacher is slinging deadly rattle snakes around. Holy shit!
Prosecution being useless as a deterrent has never stopped any of the former slave states from dragging every other poor black man into the court system and prosecuting them for smoking marijuana, though it’s a pretty easy observation that the incarceration of those young Black males is as ineffective a deterrent to marijuana use in Black youth as the prosecution of White Pentecostal snake handlers is presumed to be in deterring other young preachers from committing suicide by snake. Wonder why the difference?
Bonus Thunderfoot Video
I stayed up half the night here in Germany to live-tweet the event and my overall “impression”? Based on the amount of pre-debate skeptic jitters about engaging in a ‘debate’ with a slobbering God botherer, which I normally concur is a bad idea btw, the whole event worked out quite well for the cause of secularism IMHO. Here’s why I feel that way.
First, there’s the relative popularity of Bill Nye easily trumping Ken Ham with all but the radical right wing ultra-minority of folks willing to overlook the reality of science and physics in the 21st Century. Then you toss in Ken Ham’s reliance on Cliff Notes from the prosecutor’s statements against Galileo. Those are not nearly as effective as when people were engaged in bleeding themselves to death in their holy efforts to excise demons and return to health.
Finally, Ham’s “Molecules to Man” canard, was wholly inappropriate for a debate on evolution as any seasoned atheist debater is familiar with the tactic of shifting from evolution to abiogenesis willy nilly will be familiar with. I was a little taken back (see my live tweet stream) by Nye’s inability or reluctance to go “Christoper Hitchens” mode on Ham and get to some serious nut-cutting. That was a fantasy of mine I knew would not occur, but I was really saddened that Nye didn’t even do a little “soft shoe” Sam Harris impersonation at some point.
Bill Nye: “That all sounds well and good Mr. Ham, but when I read the Bible, I clearly see the story of “Protons to Polygamy” and your disavowing those parts of God’s holy works that you find unsuitable goes directly against your claims made based on other scriptures literal accuracy and contemporary relevance.”
If Bill Nye had the quick wit and lust for metaphorical nut-cutting that I do, when Ham was busy refuting the literal facts about the Bible supporting polygamy, Bill should have come back with that line and I GUARANTEE you it would be the thing that made the highlight reel. Of course that overlooks the fact that I invented the phrase concurrent to the time of the debate itself, but great minds think alike and Bill Nye has a great mind.
In retrospect, and perhaps as part of Nye’s master plan, he modified Mohammed Ali’s Rope-a-Dope strategy and just let Ham wear himself out while Nye stood calmly covering his head tucked safely against the ropes. Instead of going for the kill like Mohammed Ali, he was happy to just stand there and witness the exhausted and frustrated puritanical pugilist nearly pass out from running himself in circles?
I dunno, but since the “debate” was taped, I expect the best of our secular public schools to use the footage, not as a religious exercise, but as an all-too-necessary exercise in deconstructing the rhetoric of creationist apologetics. FWIW, I had an extremely valuable class in critical thinking. It was in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was in 7th grade public school. Being armed with a proper list of logical fallacies is the secular armament most lacking in the rank and file militant atheism army I am trying to corral. If successful I promise not to let you all build a new religion around me since I’ve already started one on my WordPress blog.
Remember troops. Molecules to Man shall from henceforth on, be responded to with Protons to Polygamy, unless somebody can twist up an even shorter, more catchy “meme’ to undermine the creationist mindset. H/T to Dan Dennett, and I meme that most sincerely.
This seems as good a time as any to examine the tendency of nut-jobs (religious and otherwise) to grab onto minor controversies within the ranks of their opposition and distort them out of all proportion.
The inspiration for today’s posting comes from Jerry Coyne, who pointed me in the direction of this article in The New York Times, with a further reinforcement from a favorite Youtuber of mine, Coffee With Claire.
The NYT story highlights a case of recently discovered academic fraud within the field of social psychology and the faked data of a Dutch researcher. Claire’s latest YouTube offering reminded me of how it will be misused by anti-science zealots as proof that all of “science” is just one big scam, by invoking the logical fallacy of composition (what is true of the part is necessarily true of the whole). Claire does an excellent take-down of this knuckle dragging God slobberer. His YouTube handle is noimplant4me and his video exemplifying the well worn logical fallacy of composition is here.
Claire rightly notes that noimplant4me fails to mention that in every instance of scientific fraud, it is other scientists who are responsible for policing and catching the miscreants. In the case of noimplant4me, this misuse of logic is aimed at supporting the house of cards that is young earth creationism, but I’ve also seen
similar scientific shenanigans leveraged in support of global warning denial.
My noting this tendency will likely have little effect on those who continue to misuse it. That said, I think it is worth mentioning that in this latest example of fraud within the field of social psychology, not much of consequence was really affected. The studies under scrutiny were of the touchy-feely variety and the results, much like religious texts, were manipulated by a man of ignoble character into a framework that fit social convention.
I don’t want to pile on the social psychologists too hard. Sure, most of what they study looks to be about as useful as the beard on my Aunt Bess, but at the end of the day, it’s experts in this field who are responsible for having to make a comprehensible analysis of crazy cultural shit like #atheismplus, so I’ll cut them some slack.
Evolution has not been proven false.