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Religious Logic

I’ve seen this before, but was reminded via onegoodmove (who was reminded via Jerry Coyne).  It’s pretty much spot on, though I doubt if those arguing for the existence of God would agree.

Conventional Logic vs Religious Logic

Seriously, Netflix? LOL!

I was browsing Netflix offerings this evening, specifically the streamable movies, and when you add a movie to your queue, Netflix presents a screen with recommendations for other similar movies.

I had added the movie Waiting for Armageddon, a documentary about evangelical Christians who believe the end times are near. The resulting screen led me to add Fall from Grace, a documentary about the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps’ vehicle for spreading bigotry and hatred.

The resulting recommendation screen can be seen below. I scanned the results, paused, and laughed out loud when I got to the third movie in the second row (click to embiggen).

Netflix Recommendations

Yeah. If I was putting together a list of movies in the "More like Fall from Grace" category, I don’t think Brokeback Mountain would be on it.

I’m fairly certain it’s not a documentary, either.

Webcomic: Jesus’s First Birthday

My first attempt at a webcomic…

Jesus's First Birthday

(Thanks to Mike for the collaboration)

Tom Tomorrow rounds up the crazy

Tom Tomorrow rounds up some denialist, right-wing, anti-science, creationist crazy… all in one comic.

This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow

Google Reader makes me laugh

I’m a little behind, so my unread post counts in Google Reader have been building up. Today, my "Atheism" category made me laugh.

Google Reader Post Counts

Keepin’ it real…

From AtheistCartoons.com

The Missionary… keepin’ it real.


Intelligent Design… Fail!

From James McGrath of Exploring Our Matrix, I found these cartoons by Gordon Glover about Intelligent Design.

The accuracy of the depiction of Intelligent Design is amazing… and amusing!

A smackdown given by Tree Lobsters

From Tree Lobsters comes an humorous, yet dead-on accurate, smackdown to abstinence-only sex education.

Tree Lobsters #131 - Safety Measures (click for the full comic)

(click the image for the full comic)

It’s definitely easier…

(((Billy))) the Atheist posted this terrific graphic that is every-so-worthy of sharing!


Satire is a beautiful thing

Amazingly enough, there are still people who claim to understand the science behind global warming, yet make the mistake of thinking localized cold temperatures, such as the recent snowstorms in the Eastern United States, are somehow a refutation of global warming. It’s almost as if they don’t understand the meaning of the key word “global.”

Jon Stewart captures it (and mocks it) perfectly in this Daily Show clip.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Unusually Large Snowstorm

That bit makes fun of the “local versus global” aspect of global warming denialism and it is amusing, but at its heart is a serious issue… the denialist combination of ignorance and arrogance fueled by political and/or religious ideology. It’s a combination that inspires deniers to manufacture evidence, take evidence out of context, twist and distort evidence, and cherry pick evidence in their attempts to bolster their cause.

What makes it worse is that the denialist propaganda seems to be having its intended effect. Despite overwhelming evidence showing that our planet is warming faster than what natural cycles would indicate and that the warming is strongly affected by human activity, fewer and fewer people accept the science. What makes the denialist position so successful? Is it because their “evidence” is valid? …because their position is somehow warranted? Or is it, perhaps, that climate science is complicated… and therefore boring to a lot of people? Could it be that it takes too much effort to research the basics in order to gain a modicum of understanding of the science? …that real science is hard?

Here’s a hint. It’s not because denialist “evidence” is valid (and yes, the scare quotes are warranted).

Certainly, it’s far, far easier to look out the window at an above-average snowfall and conclude that no warming is occurring… and if that nicely-boxed conclusion is spruced up by your strongly-held ideology or by a level of (perhaps understandable) apathy that makes you susceptible to the loud voices of denialism, then it’s fairly easy to consider the matter closed and ignore any further evidence to the contrary.

That’s the scary result of politics trying to invalidate science… or religion trying to invalidate science. People get bad information and then they get the idea that there’s a controversy (where none should exist), or they start to think that scientists are full of crap, or that a biologist is the same as an astrophysicist (ie… a scientist is a scientist is a scientist), or that politicians have some sort of special “in” when it comes to the truth. People start to think that the scientific process is broken, or that a single mistake invalidates years (or even decades) of research, or that a scientist in a bitchy mood indicates that scientists are corrupt, or that scientists should be automatons who never get cranky when quote-mined by some junk-science-peddling politician.

The denialists’ position against global warming science is political, pure and simple. It can be summarized by the idea that, because the fix would be a hassle (or expensive), they want nothing to do with it. On that foundation is built their structure of misinformation… with twists, distortions, and lies… that only continues to stand because they yell loudly, they yell repeatedly, and they yell authoritatively. They do it with a self-righteous arrogance, implying that anyone who disagrees is not only wrong, but unpatriotic and stupid… perhaps socialist, too. They set up towering straw men to burn to the ground with their trite arguments, paying no mind to whether the argument is scientifically valid.

Despite all the denialists’ blustering, the thing they lack is truth. Perhaps truth isn’t important to them as long as they get their way, but truth is the intended destination of science.

The scientific process is self-correcting. Mistakes are sometimes made, but through the process, those mistakes are found and corrected. Science moves on, leaving behind an understanding of our world that is just a little bit better than before. That’s what science does. It moves. It progresses. It refuses to settle. It refuses to stop.

…and all the denialist blustering in the world won’t keep it from moving ahead.