22 May 2009

Creationists Freak Out Over Google Fossil Logo

Yesterday, 20 May 2009, Google's homepage had a logo design based upon the discovery of Darwinius masillae, an important transitional form of early primate.

Creationists that frequent the Rapture Ready forum were foaming at the mouth. This was not just about the news but also about Google - the liberal search engine - promoting evolution. The news media didn't help matters by screaming that this was the 'missing link' and proof of evolution. The Pharyngula science blog picks up a tiring but necessary point, that public scientific knowledge is never going to get beyond slogans and cartoons if science journalists and their publications continue to wilfully misguide how science is reported.

Atheist Film Festival

Atheist Film Festival

An Atheist Film Festival will be held in San Francisco on Sunday 28 June 2009.

The schedule has not been completed yet but does include "Deliver Us From Evil", a documentary exposing how the Catholic Church protected pedophile priest Oliver O'Grady. The Festival closes with something a little more light-hearted with Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life".

21 May 2009

INFOWARdocs.org - Documentation for the war on your mind

In spite of the name this website is not related to infowars.com but is a project to collate all information on the internet related to mind control, conspiracy theories, population control and pretty much anything related to covert operations and coverups by governments and their agencies.

The homepage is divided into two columns, one showing the most recent news and the other showing the latests posts, which could be old news that needs to be archived. Will be interesting to see how long INFOWARdocs can keep going and whether it does become a useful research tool in the sometimes vain quest to discover who did what and when.

Sadly there is no RSS feed hence has not been added to our aggregator.

19 May 2009

Agora at Cannes - Hypatia, First Woman Scientist and Philosopher

Set in the 4th century CE in Alexandria the epic film "Agora" tells of a story that is famous in the history of science but perhaps little known outside that field. It is the story of a world in transition, of a Mediterranean culture shifting from Hellenic to Christian ideals. The history of science has not been blessed with too many women and Hypatia stands out as scientist, philosopher and head of the Library of Alexandria as much as for her gruesome end at the hands of fundamentalist Christians. It was one of the last stands of philosophy against the tide of messianic faith. Philosophy lost.

The dating of the Christian calendar from the alleged birth of Jesus can give the illusion that Christianity was born fully formed. This is, of course, far from the truth and the 4th and 5th centuries were crucial in its development, especially the rise of the expansionist Roman Catholic Church and its triumph over Hellenic culture. There can surely be no more symbolic death than that of a female scientist inflicted by a patriarchal religion.

The film's director, Alejandro Amenabar, takes great pains to say that this is not specifically anti-Christian in its message but rather against fundamentalist religious thinking in general. In our current age, where we see certain powerful factions determined to create a synthetic clash of civilizations between Christianity and Islam, it is worth being reminded that there is a much deeper clash of cultures that runs through the whole of human history - the clash between knowledge and indoctrination. Hypatia was a champion of the former and a victim of the latter.

Agora was screened at Cannes and seems to have had mixed reviews. I don't know if this is for cinematographic reasons or because of the uncomfortable message.

18 May 2009

Angie The Anti-Theist

AngieTheAntiTheist.blogspot.com is my blog about dangerous cults in America, faith healing, medical neglect of children in the name of prayer, and my general views on religion and atheism. It's also where excerpts from my upcoming book "Exodus from Zion" appear. This book details my life growing up in a faith healing cult, Home in Zion Ministries, with it's founder, my grandmother, Carol Balizet.

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Should be interesting! I've met people who have had close dealings with cults: one was being terrorized by one; and another was trained to abduct and deprogramme cult members (which somehow never seemed to make anybody happy!)

Rumsfeld's Top Secret Intelligence Reports Were Covered in Biblical Quotes

Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld routinely used militaristic passages from the Bible on the cover pages of White House intelligence documents, according to new revelations by GQ magazine.

It said Rumsfeld displayed the passages over photographs of U.S. forces in Iraq to curry favor with then president George W. Bush, despite concerns about the incendiary impact on the Islamic world if they were ever made public.

One republished on the GQ website came from March 31, 2003, showing a U.S. tank roaring through the desert about 10 days after the United States invaded Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Over the image was printed a verse from Ephesians: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Read full article at Alternet.

This seems fairly typical, manipulating Bush's beliefs for an agenda which, post-911, Bush was forced to follow. This meant he could do so with a vestigial conscience while Rumsfeld, Cheney and their mobsters could terrorize the whole world.

14 May 2009

Oregon Church Allowed to Brew Hallucinogenic Tea for Religious Use

According to a US District Court ruling, the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen in Ashland, Oregon, can use their "Daime" tea during their religious services.

The church, which blends Christian and indigenous religious beliefs in Brazil, uses tea brewed from the ayahuasca plant in their services. The tea contains trace amounts of the chemical dimethyltryptamine or DMT.

The judge also ruled that federal drug enforcement agencies are prevented from prosecuting the church for possessing the drug so long as the church abides by guidelines set down.

Members of the church believe that "only by taking the tea can a church member have direct experience with Jesus Christ." They could also have experiences of many other deities, depending on how the hallucination was guided. This is merely proof of how susceptible people are whilst tripping and that religious experiences can be manufactured.

13 May 2009

"Why I Write This Blog"

I write this blog because losing my religion was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I want to share that with people. When I finally got critical thinking, and really allowed myself to challenge everything I believed and loved, and hold it all to the same standards of reason and evidence - that’s when I really came alive as a person. I was finally willing to accept the universe, however it was, and live the best life I could here and now, in reality. That’s a wonderful thing, and when you encounter something wonderful you want to share it with people.

This is not me but Common Sense Atheism speaking.

I write this blog because I because I really enjoy this stuff. I enjoy the search for truth. I enjoy finding out where I’m wrong, or where I’m ignorant, or where I’m right. And I enjoy these topics, too. The questions of God and meaning and morality are some of the biggest questions one could ask, and it’s pretty epic to make some progress in finding the answers.

Read the whole post, and the comments.

6 May 2009

Every Intelligent Man Dreams of Being a Gangster

The quote is from the French existentialist author Albert Camus:"The truth is that every intelligent man, as you know, dreams of being a gangster and of ruling over society by force alone."

Perhaps too many people cling on to their morals as an antidote to the news. As swine flu has infected our consciousness it has also sidelined the continuing financial crisis. But both are manifestations of the same covert quest for power and control.

Paul Farrell predicts the new film Public Enemies will be a big hit because it will tap into what many people would love to do to all those who have been ripping us off for years - be they bankers, politicians or pharmaceuticals.

Unfortunately, the truth is that it is us who are staring down the wrong end of the barrel. "Yes, this time the banks are the gangsters. They're robbing Main Street's Treasury. And it's an inside job. Hank Paulson, the "Goldman Conspiracy's" Trojan Horse, plays a "Dillinger," leading a much bigger conspiracy, the "Happy Conspiracy," that robbed America's 300 million citizens and taxpayers. They made off with trillions, while our "guards," a clueless Congress, laid down their guns and surrendered the keys to the vault."

Except that in our oh-so-civilized world we see no guns, no masks, no hold-ups - just the silent theft of our ration of freedoms. Whether it is the WHO or the SEC, the first lesson is that none of these organizations exist for your benefit; they are funded, often covertly, by people for whom your well-being is measured in how much profit you can make for them. The consequence is that your future depends on disempowering these public enemies of their trade.

Forget computer games, forget virtual reality, here is a game we can all play. The targets are shadows, behind which lurk real people with flesh and bile. But the shadows are worth chasing for without them the shadow-masters would have to step into the light of day. Remember how effective was the boycott against South African goods all those years ago? Yes, it was politically approved by the media, which made it easier, but it still shows the power of the masses when focussed.

We can all train our sights on these shadows that darken our lives. We all need to protect those dear to us. Camus was not so wide of the mark.

A World Beyond Belief Aggregated