Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Greed behind crisis, warns Pope

Greed behind crisis, warns Pope, from his lavish palace, dressed in all his finery, with his hot and cold running choirboys and his golden hat.

The article makes hilarious reading:

He began writing [the letter] two years ago but has had to amend it considerably.

I get writer's block myself sometimes, but two years seems a bit excessive for a letter. When he got stuck, he should have put in an anecdote about the neighbours' dog or something. That's what I do.

The Pope told a group of priests in Rome at the beginning of the year that he did not want to give simplistic answers to complex questions concerning the world economy.

Yeah, right. He has the answers, he just doesn't want to tell anyone, because they wouldn't understand. Perhaps we aren't holy enough to hear the secrets that will save us from disaster, or our hats aren't pointy enough or something. It sounds more plausible when you consider that he has the secret to preventing AIDS but not only doesn't tell anyone, but uses his organisation to actively spread lies to encourage the spread of AIDS.

But he will single out human greed and selfishness as the root causes of the economic crisis.

Of course, human greed and selfishness is the root cause of economic booms as well, but I didn't notice him complaining then.

Why on Earth does this ridiculous old man believe he has anything to contribute?

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


This is a retarded article about the Ida fossil: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Missing-Link-Scientists-In-New-York-Unveil-Fossil-Of-Lemur-Monkey-Hailed-As-Mans-Earliest-Ancestor/Article/200905315284582?lpos=World_News_Carousel_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15284582_Missing_Link%3A_Scientists_In_New_York_Unveil_Fossil_Of_Lemur_Monkey_Hailed_As_Mans_Earliest_Ancestor

and the comments are even more retarded, even correcting for the fact that this is sky news.

Ida is important, but the media have misunderstood and dramatically overstated that importance. It's not important as evidence for evolution, because there is already an overwhelming amount. It's evidence for a part of the tree of life, which just happens to involve animals quite closely related to us. Exciting, but not for the reason the media seems to think. This article exemplifies the complete misunderstanding of this story by the media.

Want to know what's even more retarded? Answers in Genesis chose this article as the one to illustrate the whole business of Ida. They didn't choose any of the ones in the scientific press that explained the significance of the fossil more accurately, they chose a cartoon.

Want to know what's even more retarded than that? Answers in Genesis lists several bullet points supposedly showing 'The Creationist Interpretation'. All of those points appear verbatim in the comments section of the sky news article, purportedly from different authors.

Perhaps lots of people read the AIG site and each chose a different comment to cut and paste without reference into the sky news comments. Or perhaps someone at AIG harvested some comments from sky news and quoted them without reference.

Or perhaps someone is lying for jesus again?

Friday, 15 May 2009

Those catholics are just such an easy target


Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the most senior catholic in England and Wales believes that I'm not fully human. You see, I'm an atheist and therefore don't have an urge to believe in what Murphy-O'Connor calls 'the transcendent'. This is really just a fancy word for god that allows him to include people of other religions and people who call themselves 'spiritual', because that makes his club look bigger. To not yearn from the transcendent makes me not fully human, in Murphy-O'Connor's words.

He doesn't make or imply any threat by this, but there's something astonishingly sinister about a hugely influential religious leader declaring that anyone who doesn't believe - without evidence - what he believes doesn't count as human. Doesn't that surely mean that atheists shouldn't be allowed the same rights as catholics? However I parse it, it seems to come out that way to me.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Catholic priest yawningly writes sex advice book


I have nothing to say about this except what a friend wrote :
do what you want to each other, because by bumming each other, you are bumming jebus - BUT FFS DON'T USE JOHNNIES

Monday, 11 May 2009

off topic

A comment I posted on Secular Thought for The Day. I'm not sure why I'm reposting it here, except that I've always had an eerie sort of feeling about why there are no photographs of me as a child:

There is exactly one photograph of me before I was about twelve years old. It is a picture of me at about 18 months being dunked in the cold water near a waterfall in the north of england in winter and (not entirely surprisingly) crying. I may also have been crying a bit about the outfit I was wearing, this being the 70s.

I'm the youngest of four children. There are hundreds of photos of my siblings - you can almost make a flipbook animation of them growing up. By the time I came along, it's safe to say that the novelty had worn off.

It is interesting that this one photograph of me has branded me as a troublesome baby. Since I'm crying in the only picture of me, everyone agrees that I must have cried all the time. People probably *tried* to get a photograph of me not crying, but they'd have had to be a damn fast shot before I was off again.

Photographing things in order to remember them is a curious pursuit, especially as it tends to change people's memories rather than reinforce them.

Or maybe that's the point. As a trigger to sentimentalism - even over-sentimentalism - photographs are great.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

do this


Pandering to idiocy

A family reportedly believes their house is haunted because the floor got hot.


This is fairly standard nonesense. The part of the story that stands out is this:

But Italian experts have revealed there were no geological or scientific reasons for the freak temperatures in Riesi, Sicily.

This is an appallingly stupid statement. First, it doesn't say what they were experts in. Secondly, if they said that they were no geological or scientific reasons for the high temperature, then the only thing we can be sure of is that they were not experts in geology or science. Apparently geology is now not a science.

Of course, the experts - assuming they exist - will have said no such thing. They'll have said they don't know. There's nothing in the story to suggest that the 'experts' actually went to the scene. It seems more likely that a journalist called a random expert and asked "why did this floor get so hot?" and they said they didn't know. For journalists, this translates to "no scientific reason", especially when it means they get to write a story about the supernatural, which are known to sell very well.