Religion vs. Science

From the SKEPTIC mailing list:

First, the Christian:

  • How do you know your god exists?
  • The Bible says so.
  • How do you know the Bible tells the truth?
  • I have faith.
  • What if the Bible is wrong and your god doesn’t exist?
  • That’s impossible.

Now the physicist:

  • How do you know charge comes in discrete packets?
  • When you do this thing with an oil drop and an electric field, it shows
    the discrete nature of charge.
  • How do you know that?
  • Here’s the protocol. Try it out yourself if you wish.
  • What if the experiment is wrong, and charge is continuous?
  • That would be a great discovery.

Miserable Failure Project: Fallout

  • First of all, it wasn’t my idea – I learned about it from blah3. Looks like Old Fashioned Patriot was the one who started this. (I did play a roll in making it work, though)

  • Traffic to this site has increased by at least an order of magnitude (WOO-HOO!)

  • I’ve had to temporarily disable comments on this site – Some winguts were actually trying to crash my web server by entering comments (It wouldn’t have worked, but I didn’t want to provide a forum for their inane babblings)

  • From this site’s access log, I see there’s a lot of forums and web logs linking to this site regarding the Miserable Failure project. Most people, especially the more technically savvy people, recognize this as a prank that makes a point. Not surprisingly, conservatives are demonstrating that they are a bunch of humorless wankers.

The Republican Catechism

(via Musings of a Philosophical Scrivener…)

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today:

  • Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

  • The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

  • Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.

  • “Standing Tall for America” means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

  • A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

  • Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

  • The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.

  • Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.

  • If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.

  • A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

  • HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.

  • Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

  • Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

  • Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can’t find Bin Laden” diversion.

  • A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

  • Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

  • The public has a right to know about Hillary’s cattle trades, but George Bush’s driving record is none of our business.

  • You support states’ rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.

  • What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ’80s is irrelevant.

  • Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.


Yet Another Example of Bill Frist’s Hypocrisy

While reading Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, I came across this bit about our favorite cat killing senator, Dr. Evil Bill Frist:

But mainly it was Coleman’s proxies who played it dirty. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) ran an ad called “Pork” that hit the hypocrisy jackpot. It savaged Wellstone for voting “to spend thousands of dollars to control seaweed in Maui,” claiming that he prioritized seaweed control over national defense. In fact, Wellstone did vote for S.1216, as did Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott and 84 other senators. That bill did appropriate the seaweed control spending–but it also provided $21 billion for veterans’ health care, $27 billion for veterans’ compensation and pensions, and block grants to assist New York City’s recovery from 9/11. The NRSC was chaired that year by Bill Frist, who later replaced Lott as Senate majority leader. Before the memorial, Frist spoke with the Wellstones’ older son, David, who later recounted the conversation to me.

“I’m sorry about your parents and your sister,” Frist told David.

“Did you authorize the seaweed ad against my dad?” David asked.

“Yes,” said Frist.

“And did you vote for the seaweed bill?”

There was a pause. They both knew that the answer was yes. Finally, Frist said, “It wasn’t personal.”

“My dad took it personal,” David said. “Thanks for coming to my family’s memorial.”


Polygraphs: but they scare the Hell out of people

(via APS – What’s New by Bob Park – November 21, 2003)

LIE DETECTORS: WILL THEY REDUCE INSURANCE FRAUD IN EUROPE?

For a while maybe. After one major auto insurer in the UK began using voice risk-analysis software six months ago, a quarter of the stolen car claims were dropped. Now, the Daily Telegraph claims, other auto and home insurers in the UK and France hope to reduce fraud with voice analysis technology. WN assures readers it’s just as accurate as the polygraph. Richard Nixon was so frustrated by White House leaks that he ordered polygraph exams for the entire staff. “Do they work?” an aide asked. “I don’t know,” Nixon is said to have replied, “but they scare the Hell out of people.” As people get used to it, their fear wears off.