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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Addition to the Blogroll

Leftist Grandpa. Check him out.

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Creationist Fan of VenomFangX Videos Kills Woman, Himself

Do people remember this exchange in the comments of my apparently most anguish-inducing post, "Ken Ham's Petting Zoo Opens to Shut Minds."

Kristine said...
Rene, here's the kind of ugly, smug, ignoramous mentality you and your Creation Museum are turning out:
Satan Created Evolution.Proud of yourself?

[The link is now broken - for reasons I'll give below - but it was to a video by VenomFangX entitled "Satan Created Evolution."]

Rene' said...
All, If you had no vitriol in your heart for religion or Christianity in particular, you would have reported only that --in your opinion Mr. ham is wrong -- and not used such harsh terms that make you the intolerant crowd. You know the type, the ones who ridiculed Mr. Darwin for his theory. Apparently, Mr. Ham is in the same boat as Darwin, he has committed sacrilege against your god -- you. There is not and never will be any conclusive proof that would prove evolution it is nothing more than a theory, requiring faith. Conversely, I will never convince you that God is real and He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we may spend eternity with Him. God would never use categorical proof, for there would be no faith, God, for whatever reason, needs us to be faithful not convinced. I envy you --- in my opinion -- yours is the greater faith. To believe that life sprang from nothing -- without the help of the Creator, that requires more faith than I could ever possess. I know that your god, you, should be very pleased with yourselves. Rene

And blah, blah, blah. Well, good old VenomFangX has apparently yanked some of his videos because a fan of his named Anthony Powell - who also posted his anti-atheist, anti-evolution rants on You Tube, calling atheists "non-human" and such - recently killed a female student and himself. She reportedly was not his girlfriend and rebuffed his repeated sexual advances.

Her name was Asia McGowan and she was an aspiring dancer and actress.

Anthony Powell was a bully who posted videos on You Tube about how "evolution is a lie" and "women should be submissive to their man."

Then there is the Sunday School teacher who killed Sandra Cantu (her grandfather had the nerve to bitch about what the investigation was doing to the "image" of his church, and now she's up for a rape charge, too - yuck!).

The creationist who stabbed to death a man who argued for evolutionary theory, and the plethora of parents lately who either killed their kids through "exorcism" or by praying over them instead of taking them to a doctor.

Rene, anything to say? Michael Ruse, do you have something to add? Being ignorant is romantic - right? Salt of the earth. Kind of like how being poor is "exciting."

Ken Ham is not only wrong, he is dangerous. VenomFangX is not only wrong, he is dangerous. Anthony Powell was not only wrong - he was tragically dangerous, because he didn't have to take an innocent woman along with him - and he is also living proof that a belief in hell doesn't prevent anyone from committing evil.

That's why Jerry Falwell was dangerous. And why Pat Robertson is dangerous. And why Peter Popoff - who James Randi unmasked nearly three decades ago - is back (as Randi resignedly admitted in his speech at the CFI World Conference) on the BET Channel doing fake healings, causing people to avoid medical treatment en masse, and he is still dangerous. Michael Ruse, are you paying attention?

As for "me, my god, me," I simply don't believe in something that does not exist. So I don't believe in "my god, me," but just in me. The way that you should simply believe in yourself. Each person should.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blogging the Writing of the Peer-Reviewed Paper, Part 4

It's up at the Triumvirate.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wherein Michael Ruse Avoids My Questions

Michael Ruse gave a presentation tonight at the CFI World Congress on “Darwinism [sic] and Christianity: Do They Conflict and Does It Matter?” that I mostly could accept. He made some good points that there are some simliarities in the claims of Dawkins and the claims of intelligent design theorists that science and religion are apparently irreconcilable, but then ended with this question:

If Darwinism [sic] implies atheism, does teaching it [evolution] in school become unconstitutional?

In other words, Ruse is saying that if a parent objects to what a child is being taught in science class, even if the teacher does not make a specific religious claim, that scientific claim thus becomes a religious claim and becomes unconstitutional.

I stood up and asked the following:

“If evolution implies atheism, or is being made to imply atheism by Dawkins as you claim, and is therefore unconstitutional to teach in school, 1) what about all the other sciences that underpin evolution, in particular geology, which caused great anguish among people that I knew, 2) isn’t science going to have implications for anyone who pre-emptively makes a cosmic claim without evidence, and 3) hasn’t Dawkins in particular repeatedly made the point that the essential conflict is between evidence versus credulity, or faith, rather than just evolution versus Christianity?”

That is a question. I asked him a question. Michael Ruse waved it off and said, “We’ll put that in the ‘comment’ section.” Then he went on to accuse Eddie Tabash of “lacking integrity” because Tabash pointed out that science in the public schools is not taught to attack anyone’s religion but to present knowledge backed by evidence that people need to have to be educated.

Then, Michael Ruse drew the analogy that a science teacher who taught evolution without mentioning the Bible or God, but nevertheless caused a conflict within a student who was indoctrinated by creationism, was attacking that student’s beliefs (actually that student’s parents’ beliefs) and therefore violating the Constitution!

Using this argument, Michael Ruse then compared the above science teacher to a teacher who taught the students that “some animals with certain genitals are inferior to other animals with different genitals,” and then claimed, “Oh, I said nothing about men and women! I didn’t teach one was inferior to another!” Now, I ask you, is that analogy apt? Considering I was the only woman who asked a question, and it didn’t get answered?

Well, a man asked him if a teacher taught that the value of pi was 3.14 but a parent believes that it is three (as it is in the Bible), if the teacher was, according to Ruse, violating the Constitution. Ruse said yes! (Then he attempted to spin it and accused Tabash again of being dishonest.)

Then he said, “I agree with Eddie Tabash! I don’t want The Flood taught in schools!” ignoring the obvious fact that, by what he claimed above, any teacher teaching geology would, according to Ruse, be attacking theology, rendering the teaching of geology “unconstitutional” and allowing that parent to block the subject or remove the child.


Michael Ruse then went on and on about how “basic Christianity doesn’t require people to literally believe in the Bible.” Hell, I’d like to know who these “basic Christians” are. As a teen-ager I had to explain to someone in my life that the earth was round and orbited the sun. I got into arguments with the other kids about how my agate, which I found when I was nine, was formed. I argued and argued against “creation science” in the 1980s. One coworker, when she learned that I was an atheist (I was nineteen and waitressing in Maplewood), gasped, flung herself across the room away from me, then recovered a bit and asked, “So you believe in evolution?” No DUH!

As we were walking out, Ruse opined, "Well, I suppose there still could be people who use the Bible to justify slavery," and I called out, "Yes, there are!" Geez, hello Ruse! In fact, the ID folks are arguing that Darwin's anti-slavery conscience enslaved people all the more!

How the hell can Michael Ruse compare a teacher teaching evolution in class and not adding “and this is why the Bible is not true” to a teacher teaching that females are inferior to males?

What is wrong with this man? Why does he pick this fight, when in fact the denizens of the Discovery Institute are taking all religious language out of their literature anyway, in their efforts to shoe-horn intelligent design in schools? (“Teach the controversy…” “Strengths and weaknesses…” “Critical analysis…”) Ruse must really be out of touch!

This is a class issue. This is about social class, and how can Ruse understand that? He probably never missed a spring break in Florida or Cancun. (I waitressed, or just stayed home, over my spring breaks.) Education is about providing greater class mobility, whether or not the graduate goes on to make gobs of money. People are not just geocentrists and flat-earthers because they're fundamentalists - they can also be Democrats, union workers, generally liberals, yet geocentrists and flat-earthers because they're uneducated.

Being hampered by unnecessary, superstitious fear, or guilt, or repulsion of certain ideas (such as being related to apes) limits a person’s ability to view evidence. As Orwell said, whoever controls the past controls the future. Creationism is a nice little pastime for those who are well off (and I would add that Ruse’s question is also a nice little elitist paradox for him to enjoy because he never had to waitron his way through college), but it has real consequences for people less fortunate.

Creationism doesn't make people feel "special," it scares them to death.

Yet what I'm hearing (because Ruse's "teaching" has implications too) is that it doesn't matter to him whether or not I was educated at all.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Discovery Institute actually took up his argument, and start using it as well.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Belated Anniversary

Why, how remiss of me. I've missed the anniversary. (Getting an education will do that to you.) Happy "Death of Evolution Day," William Dembski. How the years do fly by.

Seven years to make my own scholarly paper invalid.

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