Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Do you believe in Ghosts?

....seems like the "This Old House" crew does.

It's also appropriate that I'm posting this on Halloween, I guess.

I couldn't believe that this article made it to the front page of last week, but amazingly, it did.

In my line of work, I often deal with people who have (or claim to have) ghosts in their houses. Inevitably, most of them ask me what they should do about it. Should they move out? Should they talk to the specters, or just ignore them?

But the most common question I get is whether or not they should contact a ghost hunter to come to their houses and investigate.

The whole article goes on like this. A factual, how-to article on ridding ghosts from your house.

I know most of the US believes in magical sky fairies, but I guess I've not been keeping up on other non-existent phenomena quite as well.

It has to be a joke, right?

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Pat Condell

I've blogged about Pat Condell before. Here's his latest, as he attempts to find something good to say about religion:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Atheism gaining ground in the USA?

A recent BBC report seems to indicate that it may be.

I think we've been seeing in general a resurgence of rational thought in the US, following a decade or more of extreme religious zealotry from the religious right. Maybe we're heading back to where mainstream America ought to be - a secular state, with no place for religion in politics or education.

Bad Week for England

It's not been a good week to be an English sports fan.

First, the soccer team loses to Russia, a result that almost certainly rules us out of the Euro 2008 finals next summer in Switzerland/Austria. Then on Saturday the rugby team lost the World Cup final 15-6 to South Africa. Finally, Lewis Hamilton managed to lose a 12-point lead with 2 races to go to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Formula 1.

It's just not our week, I guess.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Maybe the water was cold?

I've posted a few times on the hypocrisy of the evangelical ministry, but I can't even begin comment on this one.

An Alabama minister who died in June of "accidental mechanical asphyxia" was found hogtied and wearing two complete wet suits, including a face mask, diving gloves and slippers, rubberized underwear, and a head mask, according to an autopsy report.
The community seems stunned, but is not jumping to an conclusions just yet.
Church officials issued a press release asking community members to "please refrain from speculation" about what led to Aldridge's demise, adding that, "we will begin the healing process under the strong arm of our Savior, Jesus Christ."
I wouldn't even know where to begin to speculate.

Anti-Creationist Cartoons

Surfing around the interweb the other day, I came across this collection of cartoons attacking creationism. They're all good for a chuckle. My favorite (click to enlarge):creationism cartoon
You can pretty much sum up every creationist argument with this one flow chart.

Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize

It was announced this morning in Norway that Al Gore has won a share of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Congratulations Al!

This makes it even more of a travesty the he was not elected President in the 2000 election. Who knows how much better off we'd be as a country and a planet if he'd not been denied the presidency, despite winning the popular vote.

To celebrate, go out and buy or watch An Inconvenient Truth.

Al Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Young People flocking from Christianity..

Well, looks like reason may win the day after all. A new survey from the Barna Group, a christian research institution, indicates that many young people are turning away from the church:

A new study by The Barna Group conducted among 16- to 29-year-olds shows that a new generation is more skeptical of and resistant to Christianity than were people of the same age just a decade ago.
What's more,
One of the groups hit hardest by the criticism is evangelicals. Such believers have always been viewed with skepticism in the broader culture. However, those negative views are crystallizing and intensifying among young non-Christians. The new study shows that only 3% of 16 - to 29-year-old non-Christians express favorable views of evangelicals. This means that today’s young non-Christians are eight times less likely to experience positive associations toward evangelicals than were non-Christians of the Boomer generation (25%).
I think the biggest issues here are the intrusions into politics by evangelicals - strongly aligning god with GOP is a huge turnoff for young people - and the hypocrisy of evangelical leaders (Ted Haggard etc.)

Either way, the chart is going in the right direction.

So, we just need to wait for all the old christians to die off :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Happy Sputnik Day

On October 4th, 1957, Sputnik launched the space age.

sputnikIt was a tiny probe, but had a huge impact. Just 12 short years afterwards, there would be a man on the moon. It's amazing to think about. In future centuries, it will be one of the watershed moments in human history. The Bad Astronomer has a nice write up about it.