..., you know, intentionally, for larks, by Europe.
The head of the Catholic Church in Mozambique, Maputo Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, claims European Condoms and even anti-retroviral drugs are infected with the HI virus "in order to finish quickly the African people."
This is a country where 16% of the population are HIV positive.
As such, he told the BBC that abstention was the best way to fight HIV/Aids.
I could argue for hours about how the catholic church's viewpoint on contraception has resulted in massive amounts of unnecessary human suffering - because I'm right - but at the end of the day you can believe whatever nonsense you want to.
But when your viewpoint is losing ground, to then spread lies about your opponent is fucking disgusting.
As Ben Goldacre said on his miniblog, if Hell exists this guys just bought himself a one way ticket.
..., you know, intentionally, for larks, by Europe.
The Metro has, rather sarcastically, reported on the "no new life in peanut butter" argument seen below:
This is an interesting example of using bad science to defend "intelligent design" because it's not really wrong, and is basically a badly thought out version of the Urey Miller Experiment,.
This type of experiment is pretty simple, hell even I managed to demonstrate a version of it for a science show I was once involved in. You just get a air tight tank and sterilize it to remove all traces of life (and anything else). Then fill it with what you think the early Earth had (water, methane, ammonia and hydrogen, and in newer models iron and carbonate minerals). Finally you add a source of energy, which in this case was regular sparks of electricity to simulate lighting strikes and let it run.
If you come back to it a few weeks later what do you have? Obviously you don't have a little ant roaming around like they suggest in the video. But you do get a bunch of organic molecules and even amino acids. Which are the foundation of all life on the planet.
Of crucial importance, is that this is a tiny little experiment running for a week. It has sizes and timescales we can comprehend, as such coming back to it and finding it full of fish is ridiculous, but even so the first building blocks can appear in front of our eyes.
Hows that jump to life made? There lies a noble prize. I'm sure one day we'll work it out.
But now taking into account that it took life 2 billion years to appear on Earth, and Earth has a surface area about 5000 billion times bigger than an experiment of 1 square meter it becomes reasonable to think that the Earth has enough rolls of the dice to do this buy itself.
Because it only has to do it once.
The man who came up with this idea, Stanley Miller, past away in May 2007 (aged 77), in the picture above he is standing with his experiment, and he's not too different from the creationist with his pot of peanuts. He just thought harder. For longer.
He made this world a better, brighter, place. Carl Sagan went as far as to say that his work was:
The single most significant step in convincing many scientists that life is likely to be abundant in the cosmos.
Miller convinced me, but the peanut guy needs to work on his act.
In 2003, as part of a billion dollar arms deal, Russia agreed to send a Malaysian into space. This has lead to an interesting situation where the final two contestants (yes, it appears to have been some sort of 'Pop idol' style contest) are both Muslims.
This article really brings home how Science and Religion both handle the changing
Where real world morals and methods are clearly part of an ever changing flux, and nothings more delightful than a scientific view being demolished, religious views are often set in stone.
So how does a man pray 5 times a day, when each day lasts only 90 mins? How does he face Mecca when it's speeding past him at ~1600km/h?
As such Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development has had to create a 20 page guide on how to observe Ramadan in space.
This isn't meant to be critical, I just think it's a brilliant example of how Religion will be forced to adapt as our scientific progress continues. If concessions are allowed to be made for space flight, then that paves the way for concessions to be made for other products of the scientific age. Like genetic modification, and stem cell research.
Although, saying that, they do fall down at the end where they say that:
"During the prayer ritual, if you can't stand up straight, you can hunch. If you can't stand, you can sit. If you can't sit, you should lie down"Which is clearly completely meaningless. Of course he could make standing, sitting or lying motions, near something.
Man, I'm a pedant.
Fucking hell, this is beyond belief, I can not comprehend a world where people like this can get on TV.
We need a second renaissance. We need a re-enlightening.
Monday; October 8, 2007 - updated the video, thanks to a lovely poster below.
(Nicked) partial transcript:
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Is the world flat?
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Is the world flat? (laughter)
SHEPHERD: …I Don’t know.
GOLDBERG: What do you think?
SHEPHERD: I… I never thought about it, Whoopi. Is the world flat? I never thought about it.
BARBARA WALTERS: You’ve never thought about whether the world was round or flat?
SHEPHERD: I tell you what I’ve thought about. How I’m going to feed my child–
WALTERS: Well you can do both.
SHEPERD: …how I’m going to take care of my family. The world, is the world flat has never entered into, like that has not been an important thing to me.
ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: You’ll teach your son, Jeffery, right?
SHEPHERD: If my son, Jeffery, asks me ‘is the world flat,’ I guess I would go…
JOY BEHAR: You know, didn’t some person already work this question out? I mean, why are we doing this again? (laughter, applause)
Just a quick one, the history of Quackery and pseudo-science, is one of con-artists stealing terms from the latest actual science and re-using them. Something that lead to situation where any Physicist who hears an "Alternative Healer" mention vibrations, energies and quantum mechanics want to punch them in the neck.
Here's a nice little article about the newest intellectual borrowing. This guy Dr. Sha downloads new organs
"Everybody understands software," Sha says. "The soul software download is like a spiritual program that the Divine created. Divine downloads carry divine frequency. This divine frequency can transform the frequencies of our body systems, organs, cells, DNA and RNA. It removes energy blockages, and rejuvenates and prolongs life."
Apparently he's "scientifically and technologically legit."
Oh my, this is good. So I was just talking about how ridiculing Religion is the best way to puncture it's own self importance. Well this man has done it with style.
Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers has Sued god. Because God is a dick, who promotes terrorism, and strikes us down with natural disasters. Being Omnipresent, then he falls under the jurisdiction of Douglas county, and by being Omniscient he effectively been "served" the suit. Though apparently Chambers tried to get a response by calling out "Come out, come out, wherever you are."
In the Running for Greatest man of 2007. And thats before you take into account that he looks like a bad-ass black Santa Claus, whos dropped the gut.
Wired are hosting a copy of the actual suit located: here in pdf format. Read it. It's superb. If your lazy, and just want proof, here's the first page converted to GIF.
I particularly like Count IV
Defendant has directed said chroniclers to assemble and dissiminate in written form, said admissions [his various crimes], throughout the Earth in order to inspire fear, dread, anxiety, terror and uncertainty, in order to coerce obedience to Defendant's will.
Kathy Griffin is a pretty mediocre american comedian, who through a lot of hard work won an emmy. She said this at her acceptance:
Now the Emmy's decided to censor this funny statement. And in the "aftermath" this is the kind of response the American media has had to this "outrage."
I love that the outrage isn't "stop picking on us" it's "pick on Muslims too." It's divine idiocy to complain about someone of a specific religious background using that religion to highlight how stupid religion in general is.
The reason that these kind of people complain is that they are trying to close critical discussions down - because, deep down, they know their religion is ridiculous. And that they are jealous that if you criticize Islam, you could get a Fatwa. It's just so not fair!!!
One more quick thing. I meant to point this out earlier - but didn't have chance till now. But as this site is pro-science we actively encourage the changing of opinion when you've realized you are wrong. As such this deserves a full update.
As helpfully pointed out by Robert in the comments, the guys responsible for the "God hates us being nice to gays" comments have issued rebuttals.
and the here's the other.
For the sake of fairness here is the main quotes:
The headline in the Sunday Telegraph (July 1st) misrepresents the Bishop of Liverpool. He said “When people lose their lives, others their homes and livelihoods it is important pastorally to say that their disaster is definitely not a judgement of God on them. That is why I refused to use the language of judgement. God has created a world of cause and effect. If we change the climate through profligate use of carbon it is we who bring upon ourselves and others the consequences of reaping what we sow.”
Unfortunately it does seems to be the CoE making him apologize from above with his own views remain unchanged. Here's a long, abridged, extract from his talk on radio cumbria. Which was broadcast on the 8th of July - putting it after the apology. I'll bold the juicy bits.
The earth and its land are placed in our hands, but with a condition. It is that we respect and honour God and live according to his ways. This is entirely reasonable, if God is our creator. Whatever may be said about other nations, in our own nation it is conspicuously true that we are ignoring God. This is very unwise if we want his blessing on the land.
Also in the Bible, God views our lives as all of one piece. So our morality and the harvest of the land belong all together. We read at certain points that things like occult practices, bloodshed and sexual immorality make the land unclean; then it no longer brings to us all the blessings that God intends. What we are as people and what the land yields are all of a piece. If we respect God –he will make the land a blessing to us.
In a similar way our nation is increasingly choosing to support practices which undermine marriage and the stability it gives to children. We all know that we live in a very sexually permissive generation where adultery is almost taken as natural and fun. We are a long way from what God intends.
None of this can be separated from what happens on the land. In the eyes of God our morality and its consequences affect everything. Our respect for God, the land and the climate all belong together. I am certainly not saying that the people of my city, Carlisle, or of Bentley and Tollbar deserve what has happened. I am saying that we need to heed the signs and to seek God and his mercy. This is always a good thing to do.
In the last book of the Bible there is a clear link between rebellion against God, moral collapse, exploitation of others, moral collapse and environmental catastrophe. And what God is looking for is repentance. He wants his covenant with humanity returned to: we enjoy the land and we worship and serve him.
I think that speaks for itself. To summarise, you gay loving, sexual heathens did it. Start fearing God you dicks.
Still at least the CoE are ashamed of him.
Sorry, that holiday has been taking a while. And will for a bit longer still. But after numerous (3) requests to keep posting - I thought I would confirm I'm alive. Just homeless at the moment. Hell, if you know a good 1 bedroom flat for a couple in north london, let me know.
Still to tide you over - here is a News Fart. Some of which is quite old, for which I make no apologies. This is the stuff I was going to do proper updates on but haven't had the time. So it will be sparse and badly written. You'll have to add the angry invective yourself.
Deal or No Deal
The Guardian demonstrates perfectly how belief in nonsense now permeates all corners of the UK - thanks to the 'lens' that is Deal or no Deal.
Christopher Hitchens hating God with old women watching.
Now, I love a lot of what this drunk man says. His American news interviews have to be seen to be believed. But whenever he talks about "enemies" I want to punch him in his rosy alcoholic jaw. That said, I would give this 6 part youtube vid: "Listen to whilst working out of ten"
The power of ridicule.
A security expert takes the piss out of Al-Qaeda
Belgium makes great beers and hates Scientology - whats not to love.
Scientology Faces Criminal Charges: A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion. Lovely.
Sorry Wright brothers - it was for nothing.
And lastly. Something which beggers belief beyond all measure. Something that reduces your IQ just for reading it.
Nepal Airlines use giant iron birds to fly people into the air to lands you can not see. It is like a magic. So what do you do if you are having problems with the craft?
You sacrifice two fucking goats.
Anyhow - proper service will be asap. But I've got to bugger off now to look at a shit overpriced flat.
P.S. I have very exciting secret plan in preparation still. Very.