“The Making of the Fittest” by Sean Carroll – Must Read!

“The Making of the Fittest” is one of the best introductions to evolutionary science, especially for those who have any doubts about its validity. It is lucid, easy to read, and packed with amazing and convincing facts. The subtitle says it all: “DNA and the Forensic Record of Evolution.” The same kind of evidence that is now universally accepted in all courts as proof of guilt or innocence also provides evidence “beyond all reasonable doubt” about the evolutionary history of all living beings.  Here’s is how Carroll explains his motivation:

More accurate and rigorous than fiber or fingerprint analysis, and far more reliable than eyewitness testimony, DNA analysis can provide conclusive proof about who was or was not at the scene of a crime. The authority of DNA evidence … led to a revolution in the criminal justice system and a vast increase in the use of DNA testing to both convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent. …

The power of DNA testing extends far beyond criminal justice. The determination of paternity is now definitive, and testing for carriers of genetic diseases is now routing, thanks to DNA science. but there is one arena where that power is not yet widely appreciated: in what one might call the philosophical realm.

Just as the sequence of each individual’s DNA is unique, the sequence of each species’ DNA is unique. Every evolutionary change between species, from physical form to digestive metabolism, is due to – and recorded in -  changes in DNA. So, too, is the “paternity” of species. DNA contains, therefore, the ultimate forensic record of evolution.

Posted in Science | Tagged | 7 Responses

Religion and Greed Lead to Murder of Pakistani Family

Being a Christian in Pakistan sounds a lot like being a Jew in medieval Europe under the rule of the Roman Catholic Church. Just as the Jews would often have their property, liberties, and even lives taken with no legal redress, so it is for Christians in twenty-first century Pakistan under Islamic rule. It looks like karma, but really it is just another example of the perpetual evil of organized religions that disable our innate moral sense (which normally prohibits abuse of others) and give evil people a social structure enabling them to exercise unjust control over others. Think about this – history shows that religions tend to disable, rather than enable or exalt, our innate moral sense! Religion creates and justifies a division of humanity into “us” and “them” and this disables our ability to identify with the “other” which is the fundamental root of all our moral intuitions. Here is the story as reported by Compass Direct News (source):

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, September 30 (CDN) — Islamic extremists killed a Christian lawyer, his wife and their five children in northwestern Pakistan this week for mounting a legal challenge against a Muslim who was charging a Christian exorbitant interest, local sources said.

Police found the bodies of attorney and evangelist Edwin Paul and his family on Tuesday morning (Sept. 28) at their home in Haripur, a small town near Abbotabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (previously known as the North-West Frontier Province, or NWFP), according to Haripur Station House Officer (SHO) Maqbool Khan.

The victim and his wife Ruby Paul, along with their five children ages 6 to 17, had been shot to death.

Note that Edwin Paul was an evangelist. How many Muslims did he offend in his effort to draw them away from the religion of their youth? It’s like he stuck his hand in a meat grinder. It’s like he whacked a nest of hornets with a stick. Muslims in Islamic societies are brainwashed from youth to violently oppose anyone who tries to draw them away from their religion, precisely as were the Jews under Moses:

Deuteronomy 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

The Muslims are acting in perfect accord with the spirit of this Biblical teaching which also is supported by a variety of passages from the Quran. What we see here is the patent absurdity of one Abrahamic religion at war with another Abrahamic religion because of a teaching they both hold in common! Therefore, the death of this family is directly attributable (at least in part) to the Christian doctrine that people of other religions MUST be converted and “saved” from the religion of their youth. This is usually based on the abominable and incoherent Doctrine of Hell that teaches anyone not submitted to the Christian religion is destined for eternal conscious torment. It is the Protestant variation of the “infallible” fourteenth century Papal Bull(shit) Unum Sanctum that emphatically stated:

Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

This doctrine finds many parallels in the Quran which teaches that Christians and Jews must “submit” to Islamic rule, pay a special tax, and be subjected as second class citizens. Here is one of the classic texts used to suppress Jews and Christians in Islamic societies:

Quran 9:29 Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture [i.e. Jews and Christians] as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

It’s all the same. When Religion is married to the State, the same evils always result whether the religion is Islam, Christianity, or Judaism.

Now there’s a lot more to this story than mere religious violence. It is really a story of extortion of the underclass established by the State Religion of Islam.  Edwin Paul was a lawyer defending a Christian taxi-driver who had taken a 150,000 Rupee loan from a prominent Muslim with the agreement that he would pay 50% interest after one year (224,000 Rupees). Never mind that usury is forbidden in Islam. Nobody is so foolish as to believe that these murderous madmen are really “Muslim” in any meaningful sense of the word. They are just filthy thugs no different than the “Roman Catholic” mafia. So anyway, the Muslim loan-shark saw an opportunity to extort more money from the weak Christian underclass, so he demanded the taxi-driver pay 500% (1.12 million Rupees) rather than the already exorbitant 50%. Edwin Paul had the audacity to take this case to the police, and for that, he and his family were ruthlessly murdered by people who had had their innate moral sense destroyed by a religion that said Christians are fundamentally inferior to Muslims. And as irony would have it, we can be fairly confident that the murdered Christian evangelist believed that being Muslim was fundamentally inferior to being Christian. It takes two to tango.

I say it’s time to quit this bloody dance.

Posted in Christianity, Islam | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I’m not an atheist, BUT … Dawkin’s “God Delusion” is brilliant!

The title of this post is a play on Richard Dawkin’s article called I’m an atheist, BUT … which he incorporated into the preface to the paperback edition of The God Delusion. The article expresses his frustration with atheists who agree with his arguments but continue to support religion as a “helpful delusion” or some such twaddle. I share his frustration. In as much as most religionists, and indeed, all religious fundamentalists, see all other religions as false (since they are based on mutually exclusive assertions), atheists and theists differ at most in their disbelief of a single religion (the one held by the theist). Thus most Christians stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the atheists when they decry the absurdity of voodoo or the thousands of gods of Hinduism. And when Dawkin’s book is read as if it were arguing only against all the religions that Christians reject, then few if any Christians would find anything to dispute! They would admit all his arguments in a heart-beat since they do, after all, support their personal prejudices (which in theology is often the touchstone for truth). They have reason to fight against Dawkins only when he steps on their personal religious toes.

I need not repeat how eloquent, erudite, and entertaining Dawkins is as a writer. That’s been done a hundred times before me. But this I will say – while Dawkins does not have the “final word” on the question of God’s existence, he certainly has presented a powerful argument against the continued existence of religious organizations that demand the allegiance of human souls. I’m not an atheist, but I stand with Dawkins and all other freethinking humans who refuse to subject themselves to the  rule of some typically ignorant and deceitful self-appointed self-anointed religious leaders who would rule over our minds and wallets with claims of divine knowledge and threats of everlasting damnation in hellfire. That is something I am now free from, and I thank Richard Dawkins for helping me to clarify my thinking in this area. I strongly recommend everyone read this book.

Posted in Christianity, Thinking Freely | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Want to know what teachers make? Listen to this …

h/t Larry Moran

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Catholic Answers Censored the Bible Wheel!

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Update 9/28/10: For general accuracy and respect towards Catholics, I have edited this post to remove some of the unnecessarily inflammatory comments that I wrote in the heat of the moment. I was utterly shocked and dismayed to have the conversation cut short just when I felt progress was being made, and I think I over-reacted and even conflated some of these events with some past abuse I have received on other (Protestant) forums. After posting and reviewing the entire thread, I see that my comments were not completely accurate. I apologize to any and all who may have been offended, and I will seek to do better from now on.

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On Sept 14, 2010 a user v1gilbert began a thread on the Catholic Answers forum with these words:

I was challenged by a person to look, with an open mind, at the claims of The Bible Wheel; those claims basically add up to the following: The Protestant Canon of Scripture was divinely inspired, thus excluding Catholic and Orthodox. It was all very mathematical, complex and convoluted so I don’t want to take my time in trying to understand it to refute it; I was hoping someone here had already come across a good debunking article or website.

Here is the website: www.biblewheel.com

The post continued with an explanation of the Bible Wheel that I had written on some forum long ago.

The thread quickly took off. In less than two weeks it had nearly 3000 views. I was assaulted with all the typical and predictable ignorant, moronic, and indeed, godless comments that most “Christians” seem to have built in as part of their genetic code. They asked if I had taken my meds. They made jokes about dartboards and steering wheels. They likened me to Joseph Smith and called the Bible Wheel “anti-Christian.” One person implied I was schizophrenic and another said I was either a heretic or an unbeliever.

As many of these empty, ignorant, and abusive posts began to accumulate, one member, InspiritCarol, declared that the Bible Wheel had been completely refuted and so there was no need to present any more evidence since it would just fall on “deaf ears.” Here is the interaction I had with her in Post #137 in which she had presented a ludicrous list of moronic posts as if they actually contained some refutation of the Bible Wheel:

Originally Posted by InspritCarol

I invite you to please revisit post #’s: 2, 3, 7, 11, 13, 14, 17, 19, 21, especially 29, 30, especially 40, 44, especially 48, 61, 73 an on and on; I feel that I could sit here all night typing examples of what is wrong with the “Bible Wheel” but it would fall on deaf ears. For a powerful example of pattern application check out the Ron Howard film “A Beautiful Mind”.

Originally Posted by RichardMcGough

Your comment contains three fundamental errors.

  1. Most of the posts you cite do not even contain an attempt to refute the BW, let alone a valid refutation. Indeed, most of the posts you cite have little if anything to do with anything I have ever written! For example, the first post you cite (#2) begins with a string of unsupported assertions like it’s “hogwash” and “a game that anyone can play.” There is nothing in that post that actually engages any statement that I have ever made. It is therefore absurd in the extreme for you to include it in your list. Likewise, post #3 begins with the completely irrelevant comment that “The Bible is not a code to deciphered.” Again, this has nothing to do with anything I have ever asserted about the BW. And the pattern continues. The next post your cite (#7) makes no direct statement about anything I have written. And the next post you cite (#11) makes the false assertion that I appealed to the Sepher Yetzirah as an authoritative basis for the BW. Victor corrected this error when he explained the obvious, namely, that the Sepher Yetzirah gave me an heuristic motivation to put the books in a circle. I have NEVER claimed it has any authority. I could go on like this through nearly every post your cited. Your list is absurd in the extreme. How in the world did you think you could fool people? Did you think that no one would actually read the posts you cited???
  2. I am not deaf. On the contrary, I have been gifted with a most acute sense of “hearing” false arguments against the BW and I am always eager to answer any attempt at any refutation.
  3. I read “A Beautiful Mind” and I saw the movie. Your implicit association of my work with the schizophrenic ravings of John Nash is outside the bounds of rational discourse. You owe me an apology.

You now have a choice. You can produce one serious refutation of something I have written, or you can admit that your feeling that you “could sit here all night typing examples of what is wrong with the Bible Wheel” is not based on fact. Personally, I hope you choose the former. It should be interesting. And besides, given your level of confidence, it should only take you a few minutes, right?

May God bless you richly,

Richard

To Carol’s credit, she apologized for implying I was “schizophrenic.” One other user, teak421, also apologized for speaking out of ignorance. I was beginning to get hopeful that a genuine fruitful discussion of my work might finally be possible.

As the thread continued, I answered every question with ease and with each answer the evidence for the validity of the Bible Wheel began to blaze like the noontime sun in a cloudless sky. So Catholic Answers had no choice. They could not merely ban me and leave the thread, since that would leave all the evidence in place. So they followed the path of all tyrants  – they censored the evidence! Catholic Answers DELETED THE ENTIRE THREAD!

The thread was pretty young. It only had 12 pages but already outranked most other threads for views. Thankfully, I was able to save the last four pages (which were the pages I had participated in) because they were in the cache on my own machine, and I was able to save most of the other pages because they were already cached on Google (link). So I have all the evidence of the suppression of truth by Catholic Answers.

I consider this a PUBLIC DECLARATION by Catholic Answers that they are absolutely incapable of refuting the Bible Wheel.

I invite all Catholics (and any other interested parties) to this blog (or my forum where this is also being discussed) to correct anything they think might be a misrepresentation of this situation. And don’t worry, I won’t CENSOR THE EVIDENCE to protect my position.

I have posted the entire thread that Catholic Answers foolishly thought the could hide. The first 100 posts can be read here, and the final 76 posts here.

Posted in Bible Wheel | Tagged , | 16 Responses

Birds of a Feather – Terry Jones, Fred Phelps, and the KKK

After being chastised by nearly every authority on the planet from the Vatican to the President of the United States , “Burn the Koran” cult leader Terry Jones finally submitted to his moral and intellectual superiors (which includes all humans with any compassion over age 3)  and has canceled his plan to violently assault the hearts of every Muslim on the planet.

Just when we thought we could breath a collective sigh of relief, another religious madman jumped into the limelight, seeing his opportunity to gain fame by offending God and his children. Here is the report:

If Pastor Jones Won’t Burn Korans, Phelps Will

In a statement released earlier this week, Westboro church claims: “WBC burned the Koran once – and if you sissy brats of Doomed america bully Terry Jones and the Dove World Outreach Center until they change their plans to burn that blasphemous tripe called the Koran, then WBC will burn it (again), to clearly show you some things.” (America is repeatedly written without a capital letter, probably on purpose to emphasize their written opinion that “God hates America”.)

It seems that Terry Jones is an egomaniac. He claimed that he agreed to cancel the Koran burning after making a “deal” with the Imam who agreed to “move the mosque” away from Ground Zero. The developer of the community center denies any deal.

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A Better Premise for the Matrix

Duracell MatrixI have always enjoyed the Matrix trilogy (definitely an all time fave), but I never have been satisfied with the premise that the machines had to use humans as “batteries” after the humans interrupted their solar power by “torching the sky.” There are three big problems with this premise. First, it is just plain silly to think that there could be a net gain of energy harvested from humans after we consider how much machinery it required to grow them. Second, the machines had HUGE amounts of energy available to fly all over the place chasing the humans, and even drilling through miles of solid rock to get to Zion. It’s hard to imagine all that energy came from human “batteries.” And third, Trinity and Neo had no trouble flying above the clouds in the third movie for a glimpse of the sun, so it seems pretty silly that the machines could not do the same to get their energy.

And as if the failed “battery” thesis were not bad enough, the Matrix also gives us a really lame premise for the need of the Matrix itself. The idea was that the “batteries” would die if their minds were not properly stimulated. That’s silly, we all know that brain-dead bodies can live for years.

So how shall I save my favorite movie trilogy? Easy! The machines were machines. They were limited by logic. They had no creativity at all. They required humans to come up with new ideas and insights that went beyond the limits of logic. That’s why they had to create an entire illusory universe in which the human minds could function and generate new ideas for the machines. They harvested ideas, not material energy.

Now that’s a premise that could go somewhere …

Posted in Thinking Freely | Tagged | 4 Responses

An Ancient Christian Prophecy of the Bible Wheel?

The Odes of Solomon are dated roughly between 100 – 200 AD. Though scholars dispute their meaning and origin (since that is what scholars do), it seems pretty obvious that they are best described as an “early Christian hymn book.”

The 23rd Ode is extremely intriguing, because it speaks of God’s “thought” being sent forth like a “letter” that was received by an invincible “wheel” that had the “sign” (recall Aleph Tav = sign) and a “seal” that they could not loosen. Furthermore, it is written in 22 stanzas, corresponding to the 22 Hebrew letters and the 22 Spokes of the Wheel.

  1. Joy is for the holy ones. And who shall put it on but they alone?
  2. Grace is for the elect ones. And who shall receive it but they who trusted in it from the beginning?
  3. Love is for the elect ones. And who shall put it on but they who possessed it from the beginning?
  4. Walk in the knowledge of the Lord, and you will know the grace of the Lord generously; both for His exultation and for the perfection of His knowledge.
  5. And His thought was like a letter, and His will descended from on high.
  6. And it was sent like an arrow which from a bow has been forcibly shot.
  7. And many hands rushed to the letter, in order to catch it, then take and read it.
  8. But it escaped from their fingers; and they were afraid of it and of the seal which was upon it.
  9. Because they were not allowed to loosen its seal; for the power which was over the seal was greater than they.
  10. But those who saw the letter went after it; that they might learn where it would land, and who should read it, and who should hear it.
  11. But a wheel received it, and it came over it.
  12. And a sign was with it, of the kingdom and of providence.
  13. And everything which was disturbing the wheel, it mowed and cut down.
  14. And it restrained a multitude of adversaries; and bridged rivers.
  15. And it crossed over and uprooted many forests, and made an open way.
  16. The head went down to the feet, because unto the feet ran the wheel, and whatever had come upon it.
  17. The letter was one of command, and hence all regions were gathered together.
  18. And there was seen at its head, the head which was revealed, even the Son of Truth from the Most High Father.
  19. And He inherited and possessed everything, and then the scheming of the many ceased.
  20. Then all the seducers became headstrong and fled, and the persecutors became extinct and were blotted out.
  21. And the letter became a large volume, which was entirely written by the finger of God.
  22. And the name of the Father was upon it; and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to rule for ever and ever. Hallelujah.

This ancient prophecy is being discussed on the Bible Wheel forum here.

Posted in Bible Wheel | Tagged | 6 Responses

I’ll be chatting on the National Collective Conscious Show tonight

I have been invited to talk about the Bible Wheel this evening on his internet radio program called National Collective Consciousness. All are welcome to call in, so please do!

Here’s the info from the promotional email:

(week 163)
Thursday 8-12-2010 9pm (eastern) 8pm (central) 7pm (mountain) 6pm (pacific)

402-237-2901 Code-5092984#
or 724-444-7444 Call ID 48335
Listen to LIVE RADIO BROADCAST: TALKSHOE RADIO @ www.talkshoe.com Call ID: 48335
Sign in as a guest to listen

PLEASE FORWARD THIS MAILING
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter @ coordinator@firstinfreedomnc. com

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE ?
(click the link below)
http://www.aunetwork.tv/test5.swf

Special Guests for call:

1) Richard Ameil McGough
Founder of The Bible Wheel
http://www.biblewheel.com

View the Bible from a Higher Dimension
What is the Bible Wheel?
The Bible Wheel is a view of the Bible that displays its sixty-six books as a circular matrix of three wheels within a wheel. The increase from the traditional one-dimensional list of books to the two-dimensional Bible Wheel reveals otherwise hidden patterns. It is literally a view from a “higher dimension”
http://www.biblewheel.com/

Posted in Bible Wheel | 1 Response

Pastor Terry Jones: Neither Wise nor Harmless

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. — Matthew 10:16

Terry Jones, the sick and twisted pastor of the singularly misnamed Dove World Outreach Center is using his clout as a doomsday cult leader to reach out and drag the world ever closer to the violent Armageddon he believes is immanent. His strategy? To make a grand and deliberately antagonistic public desecration of the Scriptures held sacred by over a billion of his fellow human beings.  He has scheduled 9/11/2010 as a day to publicly BURN THE QURAN!!!

Given that Mr. Jones fancies himself a Christian following the “apostolic tradition” we must assume that he feigns adherence to the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, this leads to the absurd conclusion that he is treating Muslims the way he wants to be treated by them, which implies that he desires Muslims to burn the Scriptures he holds sacred, the Holy Bible! Madness is never far from fundamentalism, is it?

Pastor Terry Jones has disqualified himself from any form of Christian leadership. He appears to be nothing but a self-inflated attention seeking godless freak on the order of Fred Phelps of the “God Hates Fags” fame.  His actions are neither wise nor harmless. There is little doubt that his call for a violent attack against the hearts of Muslims has already endangered the lives of Christians ministering in Islamic countries, and it will be a miracle if Christian blood is not shed as a direct result of his arrogant anti-Christian recklessness.

We must do everything in our power to  stop this pseudo-Christian madman before he does more damage.

Links:

Evangelical Body: Cancel ‘Burn a Quran’ Day

Plans for a Koran-Burning Show a Gainesville Church’s Bigotry

Pastor Hosting ‘International Burn A Quran Day’: ‘We Have Nothing Against Muslims’

NAE Urges Church to Cancel “International Burn a Quran Day” (with video of CNN interview and transcript)

Posted in Christianity, Islam | Tagged , , , | 57 Responses