Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance
- Name: Kristine
- Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday
Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
You Shovel 16 Tons...
Unidentified fossil in Saudi Arabia is finally labeled a giant fungus.
And I'll never get my living Trilobite - and you know, it's worth it!
UPDATED: ...And waddaya get? A Pharyngula post with some jokes you don't get...
"Holmes! What kind of rock is this?"
"Sedementary, my dear Watson."
Arh, arh, arh. ;-)
I'd Like to Introduce My Friend - Reality
Friday, April 20, 2007
Why Do You Blog?
...that reminds me of a story. One that I wrote. An excerpt from my first novel, really - based upon real events. I'll call it Why Do You Write?
I'll take the reason that my protagonist, Geoff, gives for my own. (Yeah, I write a lot from the point of view of men - or try to. I'm so feminine. *sigh*)
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Where are Atheists When Bad Things Happen?
Unlike Mr. D’Souza, I don’t have a national platform to get out my message. I have a day job, a job in a public institution where I just advised the safety committee in light of the Virginia Tech shooting, and I have other duties that can’t be put off no matter what, but if Mr. D’Souza thinks that I should be doing something else for my fellow Americans, and if my fellow Americans need something of me, I am here. I am not medical personnel, but I am a good listener. I am a very good and supportive and sympathetic listener. Even those close to me who are appalled that I am an atheist will attest to that, and anybody, no matter what you believe, can say anything to me. You can talk about anything.
Dinesh D'Souza would have you believe that atheists are monsters. I don’t know what purpose that serves other than to whip up some new movement to cleanse America of enemies that do not exist. He probably doesn’t realize that he already knows some who have never told him, because atheists fear other people’s fear. So I make this offer – contact me, if you need help. I am just one person but I will do what I can.
That’s all we can do anyway. Atheists help America every day. We are behind the scenes most of the time, working in hospitals, working in labs to find cures, working in offices to make institutions work; we choose to be respectfully silent when others pray or speak of God in times like this; but if someone needs me to articulate my beliefs at this time I am happy to do so.
In a way, Mr. D’Souza, I am grateful to you. In a backhanded way you are letting me know that America needs to hear from me, too. I didn’t know anybody wanted to listen to me. Most people react with horror to me and I don’t understand why.
UPDATED: Rev. BigDumbChimp pointed me to this - Dinesh D'Souza says I don't exist: an atheist at Virginia Tech:
We atheists do not believe in gods, or angels, or demons, or souls that endure, or a meeting place after all is said and done where more can be said and done and the point of it all revealed. We don’t believe in the possibility of redemption after our lives, but the necessity of compassion in our lives. We believe in people, in their joys and pains, in their good ideas and their wit and wisdom. We believe in human rights and dignity, and we know what it is for those to be trampled on by brutes and vandals. We may believe that the universe is pitilessly indifferent but we know that friends and strangers alike most certainly are not. We despise atrocity, not because a god tells us that it is wrong, but because if not massacre then nothing could be wrong.
D'Souza harps in reply to yesterday's comments on his piece:
One clever writer informs me that atheists don't deny meaning, they simply insist that meaning is not inherent in the universe, it is created by us. Okay, pal, here's the Virginia Tech situation. Go create some meaning and share it with the rest of us Give us that atheist sermon with you in the pulpit of the campus chapel. I'm not being facetious here. I really want to hear what the atheist would tell the grieving mothers.
To which I reply, YOU MEAN LIKE YOU, DINESH D'SOUZA? Or like the Westboro Church? They're theists, too.
Lead by example, man. After all, you once said that "America should be destroyed."
Shimmies to Rev. BigDumbChimp.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Discovery Institute Silences Student Dissent
We began handing out fliers and were receiving mixed reviews - until a tall, lanky, and toothy man jittered his way over to us and demanded to know who was handing out these fliers. We all took responsibility, and he began ripping the flyers out of our hands, saying that we could not distribute anything of the sort. I told him we paid to go to school here and that we were students who could walk anywhere on our campus, and that it just so happened that we walked into McFarlin, and it also just so happened that we had fliers to distribute.
He didn't take too kindly to that, and in two minutes' time, we had two police officers who all of a sudden had a real job to do watching us instead of sleeping the night away in the back. I'm sure if we had been distributing thank-you notes expressing our gratitude for the institute coming to our campus, he would've given us a warmer reception.
So much for wanting to "teach the controversy." But, obligingly from one of the Discovery Institute members himself, no one at the DI believes there's a controversy, either.
The night was wrapped up when, somehow, one of our flyers made it to the front of the stage, where the journalist asked the other men on stage about the quote regarding the institute's true purpose (see first quote mentioned above) being that it wants to replace modern science with "a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."
To my shock, one of the men on stage said, "Yes that's true, and I don't see anything scandalous about that."
Nothing scandalous about trying to replace science with Christianity? Nothing scandalous about the fact that religion keeps being brought up during what is supposed to be a scientific conference? Clearly, the institute's dictionary must define the word "scandalous" differently from the dictionaries we own, because it sure appears to be pretty scandalous. And that sums up the night in question, after it ended with us being escorted out by the police.
Here's a link to another DI attempt to squash dissent, this time at the premier of the film Icons of Evolution.
After 45 minutes of quietly handing out flyers downstairs where people are entering for the presentation, Mr. Bruce Chapman [founder of DI] arrives. [Note: this is the Bruce Chapman that I mention in the column at left. - Kristine]
He is handed the flyers and is livid. He talks to himself saying, "This isn't science" and walks up the stairs. He then comes back down after going halfway up the stairs and says to Carl and Ken that he hopes they will be in attendance as he is going to talk about them.
5 minutes later, two campus security officers arrive and tell them that the folks upstairs putting on the presentation want us removed from the property. They are specifically told that they cannot hand out the flyers on school property but instead could do it out on the public sidewalk about 100 feet away. (The security folks were good-natured about it.) They left the flyers on a table across the hallway and went upstairs. Approximately125-150 flyers were handed out.
The next time you hear Discovery Institute members whining about not having freedom of speech, just remember that their idea of "speech" is to fillibuster the entire cosmos.
Shimmies as always to RedStateRabble and to David Leaf in the comments.
UPDATED: SMU posts a response.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Labels: grad school
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Creation Museum Opening Draws Nigh
Ken Ham's Creation Museum is featured in Newsweek. Here it finally is, in all its asinine glory. And according to last year's Esquire article about this museum, Adam doesn't have his, er, T-Rex. Hardly Paradise, if you ask me.
America is becoming a dinosaur-pimped Russian Federation. Is Ken Ham our very own Lysenko? You decide! As for me, I need a drink.
I need a couple drinks. And a cigarette. And I don't even smoke. I can't believe people swallow this crap, in this day and age. In the richest, most prosperous country in the world. That has citizens like these*.
Yeah. I need to get hammered.
*Well, I guess the video is no longer available. Too bad, because it was incredible. People on the street were asked to name a country with a name beginning with U. “Yugoslavia?” No, how about the United States of America? D’oh! (I confess that I thought of Uganda, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan, but not the U.S.A.) Then people got all excited about the prospect of invading Iraq – uh, they meant to say, invading Iran. (Iraq, Iran, same difference…right?) Then they put thumb tacks all over Australia, called it “France,” and said that we should invade that, too.
Let’s invade the world! D’oh!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
UPDATED: National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley says that he wants a War Czar yesterday.
"It's something I would like to have done yesterday and if yesterday wasn't available, the day before," National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters during a briefing at the White House. A day earlier, the White House had said the idea for a so-called war czar was still in its infancy.
I can grow up fast, too: we need to have not invaded Iraq and we need to have started withdrawal plans yesterday.
The Bush Administration seems to be singing that song, "There's always tomorrow for dreams to come true," but the next line is, "Tomorrow is not far away."
Thursday, April 05, 2007
The Death of the Dinosaurs
Smith, Hobart M. (1956, June). Schistic evolution. Evolution, 10 (2), 228-229. Retrieved March 28 from http://links.jstor.org/.
Keywords: horizontal evolution, speciation, splitting, schistic evolution, differentiation, synchrony
Because all patterns of evolution involve some kind of speciation, this term should not appear, as it has until recently, among the three recognized evolutionary patterns: “splitting,” phyletic, and quantum. “Splitting,” a recent substitute for speciation, has a dual meaning of its own, and can also refer to the initial step in phyletic evolution. The overlap of the two terms causes confusion and controversy, and has fueled a new search for an unambiguous term. Simpson in his recent paper proposed schistic as a hierarchical equivalent to, without ambiguity with, phyletic and quantum, and Smith analyzes the term, finding it satisfactory.
Dodelson, S. (2007, May). Seeing the red limit. Astronomy, 35 (5), 40-43.
Keywords: redshift, cosmic distances, intrinsic luminosity, Hubble’s Law, spectral absorption lines
Scientists measure the vast distances between galaxies by analyzing properties of the energy that their stars radiate. Atoms absorb some energy, creating absorption lines in energy spectra. Lab experiments correlate positions of absorption lines with specific elements. The “shifting” of these lines toward the blue or red area of the spectrum indicates distance, speed, and direction with respect to the observer. Hubble’s Law states that greater distance reveals greater velocity. Because space is expanding, light speed and the universe’s scale factor cannot help scientists measure extremely distant objects. Intrinsic luminosity reveals the speed of universal expansion, which is mysteriously accelerating.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Evolution Dead in Nine Years
This is going to be the longest boxing match in history!
Good thing I have a long memory, growing up during the Little Rock trial and all. (Yes, I know it's un-American to remember things and to place them in an intellectual context, but you're looking at someone who opposed funding Saddam Hussein back in 1982, a few years before her hard-drinking, class-disrupting, we-don't-like-no-nerds classmates joined the military "for the discipline" and just barely managed to avoid getting their asses shipped to Iraq for the first war.)
Who knew that lifting all those books is just like doing push-ups! Drop and give me Welty, soldier! ;-)
Oh, did I mention that "evolution is dead"?
"Dying" and "dead." Evolution sho' is confusin'! These guys should get their stories straight. Then maybe they can show us all their medical cures and neato gizmos that intelligent design promises us. ID is science, remember - and they've only been at it since 1991! "By their fruits shall ye know them."
Sunday, April 01, 2007
April Fool, Dr. Egnor!
You must read very carefully in order to get it.
at Panda's Thumb,
and, if you're still confused, at Greg Laden's blog and at AtBC.
Still don't get it? The eye patch - notice the eye patch... Hahaha! Shimmies to all for this delicious prank!
(Speaking of delicious - tomorrow's an anniversary...)