Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hallmark Refused to Sell Me Gay Wedding Cards and Comming Out Cards

Damn homophobes at Hallmark Ala-moana refused to sell me any cards from their gay series today, even though they admitted that they had them in the back of the store in stock. Fuck Hallmark! On another note, why don't they have any type of Atheist cards?

Extension:
OK, to the person who commented on this. I am not saying that it is not within the rights of that particular Hallmark store to sell whatever cards they want, neither am/was I trying to force them to sell me the cards. What happened is an observation on my part that the manager at Hallmark first lied to me claiming there were no such things then told me "We are not selling those cards during the holiday season" (even though it is august and nowhere near the holiday season) and would not sell me the cards even though they had them in stock and in their store and my reaction to that. It is the same as lets say an individual McDonald's would start to refuse to serve minorities or blacks, if that were the case I would say Fuck McDonald's. Perhaps, you are familiar with small pharmacies in the middle of nowhere refusing to sell contraceptives. Some small towns only have one pharmacy or one place where they can buy contraceptives from, if that were gone would you not object to such vile practices?

The reason why I brought up the Atheist cards thing was just because, I found that almost all of the worlds religions were being represented in every single section through out Hallmark. So why not sell atheistic cards, this is not a demand, just a suggestion.

On a side note, a friend of mine bought some of the cards the weekend before, at that same shop. But this was before Hallmark gave in to the complaints of Religious groups

The following is from a blog found here, which is along the lines of how I feel on the topic.
I'm all for Hallmark deciding to have cards honoring the marriages and commitment ceremonies of gay people - after all, it is the law in California and Massachusetts that gay couples can legally wed. But I do have a problem with Hallmark saying it's okay for it's stores to not carry the new gay wedding cards because, you know, some local Hallmark stores don't like homos. Would Hallmark headquarters let local stores pull cards that are geared to the black community because, you know, some local Hallmark stores don't like black Americans? Hallmark though it had a problem with the religious right, that's rabble-rousing to try to get stores to the pull the gay cards. Honey, you ain't seen nothing yet. It's one thing for a religious right person to be offended that Hallmark offers gay cards. It's another thing for gay people to see Hallmark engage in blatant bigotry against gay people. That's an attack on their own customers. Most religious right nutjobs couldn't care less about the gay cards, but every gay person will be offended to their core that Hallmark is tolerating bigotry.
Here is a news link talking about how individual stores won't carry the cards.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Choice Clips of Prof. Dawkins Reading his fan mail from loving Christians



From part 3 of Prof. Dawkins BBC special on the Genius of Darwin, 2008.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New video "Religious Dance Party"

Here is a video I made today.

1.21 gigawatts?

you need ~15mg of U 235 to reach the 1.21 gigawatts of energy required to activate the flux-capacitor, in order too travel back in time to the year 1955.

Unless my math was wrong.

joules needed/( fission energy of a single U235 ~200MeV * conversion factor to joules 1.6 x 10^-19 J/eV) = x Kg

x * (235mp) = x' Kg

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

10 things people say to Atheists that show that they are scientifically illiterate and mentally challenged

10)You are going to HELL! But Jesus loves you and I'm praying for you.
I actually find this one funny.

9)Why do you worship the devil?
Apparently people don't even know what an Atheist is.

8)America is a christian nation!
Perhaps there is a correlation between religiosity and a lack of historical knowledge.

7) Anything to do with fruits or bananas in an argument against evolution
This one usually makes me laugh and sad at the same time.

6)You are close minded and will never change your mind!
This is the usual projection that theists prescribe too. They are close minded so they somehow think that you are close-minded too. Damn those mirror neurons.

5)If you don't believe in GOD, where do your morals come from, what is to stop you from raping and murdering people?
It is called the law, if I rape or murder someone, I have to go to jail where I will be raped and possibly murdered, which are things that I sure as hell don't want done to me.

4) You are an atheist so you don't believe in anything!
That is a Nihilist not an atheist, on the opposite side you have the post modernists and cultural relativists(ewwwwwww).

3)You atheists actually believe in a GOD but you deny him!
I find this one the most annoying. The Christian idiot who states that one is one deluded person with major mental issues. A improper rebuttal would be "You theists actually don't believe in a GOD you just do it cause it makes you feel better!", but it sure would be funny to see the look on their faces.

2) Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim-jung-il were all atheists and atheists were responsible for all the horrible things they did.
Nazi's wore belt buckles with "GOD with us" written on them. Atheism is simply a disbelief in GOD it is not a group of people with similar tastes, culture, or philosophical backgrounds.

1)What if you are wrong? (and all permutations of Pascal's wager)
This one is tied with the other #1 so there are two #1's because they are equally as annoying.
Answered simply by saying what if you are wrong! Then a list of religions follows.

1)You can't prove there isn't a GOD!
And I can't prove that ghosts are not performing ectoplasmic orgies in my apartment, doesn't make it true.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Eucharist Miracles: Miracle of Lanciano "Update"

I have received the paper by Dr. Linoli. And the data and results are both Unsurprising and Uninteresting. That's right scientists you can keep your hats on because miracles still don't have any type of scientific proof of ever occurring.

I will examine parts of the paper by Linoli, in terms of the claim that the blood and flesh are somehow miraculously preserved and fresh.(miraculously preserved and fresh for the means of this write up will be defined as follows: shows no signs of decay, tested for biological activity, presence of proteins and minerals in equal amounts to those present in fresh human blood.)

The flesh was found to be of human cardiac tissue, which is not surprising. But what of the claim that this was miraculously preserved.
At last, the action of long centuries on the Miraculous tissue, provoked the loss of anatomic pieces and consequently only one cavity was formed.
Therefore, it is evident that without any cover, all the fluid phase inside the tissue was lost, making it mummified and reducing its size, that results lower compared to a normal heart.
The surface is smooth, never raised or chapped or carved. We can widely notice little white spots strewn sometimes chapped, or like millet-seed, often flowing, soft, detachable, not belonging to any tissue trace, hardly diluted into a physiological solution (the microscopic investigation, revealed hyphomycetes colonies, from evident contamination). On the peripheral side of the tissue round sheet there are little holes, ancient signs of nail crossings.
The tissue structure appears markedly abnormal due to the lack of histochemical detectability of nuclei and to some degree of global homogenization.
Considering the nail holes in many points of the frame, we must conclude that the Miraculous Heart fragment which appeared on the altar of the little Church in Lanciano consisted of living material therefore tending, due to subsequent "rigor mortis", to concentrical retraction; the Basilian monks tried to prevent it, by nailing the Heart Fragment on a wood piece, and this, already small, retracted again in centrifugal direction, finally tearing up
The above are direct quotes from the journal article. Rigor mortis does not set in on fresh tissue samples! I don't think that I even need to rebut the claims that this is fresh tissue samples, it even had saprophytes growing on it.

Next the blood, as I quote again.
A minute Blood fragment has been included in paraffin according to Lenzi's technique.
At the Emallume-Eosine staining, no cellular element can be detected, with the exception of a yellow-dark-green granular material with foreign bodies of vegetable origin.
That means that no cellular structures were identified, meaning no recognizable cells were left in the sample. Fresh blood contains blood cells, it is a contradiction to say that something is miraculously fresh when cellular structures and cells are no longer present. Foreign bodies of vegetable origin? The samples were contaminated also with an untested foreign vegetable.
Teichmann's reaction modified by Bertrand with hydrochlorate hematine and Takayama's reaction with hemo-chromogen, have been carried out on the ancient Blood in Lanciano with negative results, together with human Blood samples normally dried, which gave positive results.

The negativity of Teichmann-Bertrand's test and Takayama's test does not exclude the presence of Blood, as these tests can become negative due to sample denaturation.
This test showed negatives on both Teichmann's and Takayam's reactions, while showing positives on the dried control (lab blood). These tests don't work when the blood being tested is extremely decayed or contaminated. (Note how this also shows that the blood samples are not fresh or preserved miraculously, the article even states that the sample was denatured).
The percentage composition of proteins in the liquid tested is similar to that known for human normal Blood serum (Henry).
The protein content is as follows: albumin 61.93 % (normal values 52-68%). Alfa 1 globulin 2.38% (normal values 2.4-5.3%), Alfa 2 globulin 7.14% (normal values 6,6-13,5%), Beta globulin in 7,14% (normal values 8.5-14.5%), Gamma globulin 21.42% (normal values 10.7-21%).
Globulin-albumin ratio is of 1.62 the normal value being 1.13-1.73.
This study confirms the possibility that organic material (such as proteins) may be kept for a very long period, as if the fatal destiny of Flesh could be overcome.
The discovery of blood group AB proteins and antigens in the ancient Flesh and Blood in Lanciano after 1200 years, is in agreement with the discovery of proteins in Egyptian mummies dated since 4000 years (Hanseman), and since 5000 years (Meyer),
This study was done in the 1970's, today we find that serum proteins can and have been easily preserved under harsh circumstances. Proteins were extracted from samples over 4,000 years old and even from 100,000 year old from blood on tools that were exposed to nature and not kept inside a church.

The paper even concedes on the point that organic materials may be kept for a very long period, as has already been observed in mummies at the time, where the techniques used in Linoli's experiments were developed.

While calcium was markedly increased, in the blood we found reduced levels of phosphorus, potassium and sodium. This mineral reduction can be ascribed to ageing processes or the progressive loss of tissue contents during the centuries, or to exchange of minerals between the tissue and the glass tube wall; to avoid this, in modern times, inert material containers are used for precious solutions.
The discovery of reduced elements within the sample are a direct result of the aging process, as is described within the paper. Note that the following assumptions by Linoli were neither tested or verified.
The increase in calcium levels (mg. 114,29%) in the ancient Blood in Lanciano can be related to falling into the goblet of building powder enriched with calcium salt, or to the vegetable fragments (flowers) found during the histological study of Blood.
The calcium levels are through the roof, (11times the normal amount, Did GOD have cancer? Or was he even human?) Also this is in obvious conflict with Linoli's recent assertions that the blood is the same as fresh human blood. Humans don't have these levels of elements in their blood!

I feel it necessary to address one more point before closing the case on this non-miraculous occurrence.
Supposing that the heart was taken from a dead body, we have to consider that only a trained hand in anatomic dissection could have obtained, with no difficulty, from a cave organ an "even and continuous slice" considering that the first anatomic dissections on human body, have been made after the 14th century (Diagnosis is fully confirmed by Prof. Ruggero Bertelli, Professor of Human Normal Anatomy at Siena University, whom I gratefully thank).
The case was made that this heart piece could not have been cut by man. Taken from his very own paper. He says that someone needs to be trained in order to cut the piece of heart. Subjectivity at its best. Note how he does not assert that this task cannot be done by human hands, because your average med. school student could have cut the heart out better. Not only does this statement not belong in the paper it is outrageous, Linoli only examined a small fragment of the heart tissue, I guess they decided to neglect the holes made by nails in this decision.

In conclusion, I would like to say that this is a very poor excuse of a paper to be tauting around as scientific evidence for a miracle. Not only does the paper repeatedly say that the samples were decayed, but nowhere within the paper is anything miraculous. A piece of rigor mortis human tissue and some decayed blood samples remnants were examined. This paper in no way proves that the flesh is somehow GOD meat. If you do not agree with my interpretation of the paper you are welcome to it yourself as I have uploaded it at the bottom.

Warning Amateur psycho analysis incoming:
I think I know the problem with a large portion of religious people. They fail to question the things told to them by authoritative figures. When priests or their parents tell them "miracles exist and we have great evidence to back up all of our claims" I find it very sad that these people fail to ever actually critically exam what they are being told. Santa Claus is a fantasy for little children, GOD, religion, and miracles are the fantasies of grown-ups who never found reality.

A word of advice to any religious person who actually made it through my poor writing skills, check up on everything that is told to you as being true. The best advice anyone ever gave to me was this. During a conversation I had with an old friend from Denmark whom I met in my first semester of college. We were watching television and a preacher came on claiming that he could heal the sick, but he needed our money to continue doing it. My friend told me "look at that, religion is a joke" to which I replied "ya some of the things in the bible probably never happened", to which he replied "some things? The whole thing is bullshit, its all made up fantasy" and a light flashed in my head, "and I decided to check on the bible and guess what. Reading the bible made me an atheist. So I urge all of you to start reading bible, because reading the bible is probably the number 1 cause of Atheism.

Reuploaded this shitty paper since I see that people can't get it still: http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B9kNbgL3NNN1YTdmYzQ0ZTUtNjAxMS00NWI3LTgwOTgtOWMyNzgzOGY4MTNj&hl=en

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The tyranny of scripture



One of the funniest videos I have seen by Pat Condel.

Short quote: "Creation museums-- are places of education, where children can go to learn the truth, that their parents are morons, and quite possibly insane"

"Talk to the scripture, cause the brain ain't listening"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Eucharist Miracles: Miracle of Lanciano, The Story So Far

Alright I have been in a big debate on youtube concerning the alleged miracle of Lanciano, in Italy. As I can not find any good write up on the web about this particular miracle from a non catholic based perspective, I will do my best and show why I feel that this miracle is a fraud.

The miracle goes as follows, taken from the wiki:

In the city of Lanciano, Italy, around A.D. 700, a Basilian monk and priest was assigned to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice in the Latin Rite in the small Church of St.Legontian. Usually celebrating in the Greek Rite and using leavened bread and having been taught that unleavened bread was invalid matter for the Holy Sacrifice he was disturbed to be constrained to use unleavened bread and had trouble believing that the miracle of transubtantiation would take place with unleavened bread. During the Mass, when he said the words of consecration (This is my Body...This is my Blood), he saw the bread change into live flesh and the wine change into live blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size (this number corresponds to the number of wounds Christ suffered on the cross: one in each hand and foot from the nails, and the wound from the centurion's spear). He was frightened and confused by the miracle, and stood a while as if in divine ecstasy, but eventually he turned his face to the congregation, and said "Behold the Flesh and the Blood of our Most Beloved Christ." At those words, the congregation members ran to the altar and began to cry for mercy. This miracle proved to him that unleavened bread was acceptable matter for the Holy Sacrifice. Years later other Basilian monks stole the documentation that was in the archives of the parish church. The Byzantine rejection of unleavened bread eventuated in the schism of 1054 that started out as a disagreement concerning the "azymes" between Patriarch Michael Keroularios and Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida acting for the already deceased Pope Leo IX.

Various ecclesiastical investigations have been conducted upon the miracle since 1574, and the evidence of the miracle remains in Lanciano to this day. In 1970-71, Professor Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy, and Professor Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena, conducted a scientific investigation into the miracle. The report was published in Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori in 1971, and reaffirmed by a scientific commission appointed by the Higher Council of the World Health Organization in 1973.[1] The following conclusions were drawn:[2]

  • The Flesh of the miracle is real Flesh and the Blood is real Blood.
  • The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
  • The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart, which would be highly unlikely to "fake", given that only an expert hand could have done it, and not without serious difficulties.
  • In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium. The Flesh is a heart complete in its essential structure.
  • The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood type, AB, which is also the same blood type found on the Shroud of Turin and all other Eucharistic Miracles.
  • In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of the fresh normal blood.
  • In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
  • There is no trace whatsoever of any materials or agents used to preserve the Flesh or Blood.

The Flesh and Blood of the miracle can still be seen today. The Host-Flesh, which is the same size as the large Host used today in the Latin Church, is fibrous and light brown in colour, and becomes rose-coloured when lighted from the back. The Blood consists of five coagulated globules and has an earthly colour resembling the yellow of ochre.

Let me start with the main claim that a cracker and wine turned into the actual flesh and blood of GOD. No witnesses to this event can be found, other then the originator of the claim in the 8th century(dark ages).

The story seems to tell of a schism in the catholic church about what kind of bread they should use, leavened or unleavened. It is very suspicious that a miracle would just suddenly happen at that particular time showing that unleavened bread was pleasing to GOD.

Evidence so far: one priest eyewitness account during the 8th century (Dark ages)

Now on with the story a supposed Dr. Linoli did a study on the magic meat and flesh showing the following:
  • The Flesh of the miracle is real Flesh and the Blood is real Blood.
  • The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
  • The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart, which would be highly unlikely to "fake", given that only an expert hand could have done it, and not without serious difficulties.
  • In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium. The Flesh is a heart complete in its essential structure.
  • The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood type, AB, which is also the same blood type found on the Shroud of Turin and all other Eucharistic Miracles.
  • In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of the fresh normal blood.
  • In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
  • There is no trace whatsoever of any materials or agents used to preserve the Flesh or Blood.
Notice how the shroud of turin is referenced, The supposed blood from the shroud of turin turns out to be nothing more then red ocher and vermilion tempera paint. Is it possible that Dr. Linoli used the same crappy methods as in all the other catholic blood tests used? (I requested the paper at this point in time so I can further evaluate these claims)

In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium. These minerals are normally found in blood but also combination's of them are also normally found in solutions made to preserve blood.

The Blood consists of five coagulated globules and has an earthly colour resembling the yellow of ochre.
In light of recent findings on the debunked shroud of Turin(red ochre), isn't it funny that this one resembles yellow ochre?

Also nothing out of the ordinary is found, a piece of heart flesh, and some blood. The only things out of ordinary are the inferences that are being made by Dr. Linoli. Question, was blood available at the time? Yes, the priest has blood in his body. Did the priest in the 8th century have access to dead bodies? Yes, the catholic church killed many people during that time. Can blood and flesh be kept in good condition for 12 centuries? Yes, many techniques were available to the catholic church during the 8th century, to think that a supposed miracle occurs and the miracle objects are thrown around and not taken extremely good care of is unheard of.

The original miracle is not even mentioned in Linoli's findings, so this paper does nothing to validate the original claim that this flesh and blood was originally a cracker and wine.

While studying this, I have found that it is incredibly difficult to obtain the original paper by Linoli and the paper from the World health organization. Neither is it possible to find any quoted information on what types of tests were performed on the samples, which puts major doubt on the validity of his findings. If his experiments were so rock solid, why are they no where to be found? The Vatican has billions of dollars, they could exploit this miracle like crazy if it were so bullet proof, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain in converts. (they are probably to preoccupied with gay pedophilia to bother)

The WHO report photo does not explain how the experiments were done, it was just a reiteration of what Linoli previously said. It is just a long "we found the same thing", perhaps the same faulty experiments were performed? Considering how hard it is to find any type of documentation of the study done by the WHO I doubt it was anything special. ( I am still looking for the actual data from them if anyone knows where I can find it let me know)

One paper in an obscure journal is hardly proof of anything. Misinformation (albeit unintentional, most of the time) escapes the peer review process and is often published in journals, especially obscure journals such as the one Linoli published in.

These claims need to be rechecked with new modern techniques and unbiased scientists. The claims of previous supposed miracles when put under high scrutiny have yet to hold up to any type of scientific validity. (e.g. Shroud of turin, other blood miracles)

Ad hominim attacks just for reference: Dr. Linoli is apart of the catholic congress on eucharist miracles. Is he really an unbiased source of information that can be relied upon? The study was supervised by the Vatican and everything was done in Italy.

Links:
Linoli's report can be found at
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4950729
http://cat.cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/search/a?searchtype=i&searcharg=0033-4979+&searchscope=1&SORT=R

other websites about the supposed miracle
http://www.catholicherald.com/saunders/97ws/ws970911.htm
http://www.doxa.ws/other/Miracles3.html
http://www.zenit.org/article-12933?l=english
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharistic_miracle
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Eucharistic_Miracle_of_Lanciano

Monday, August 4, 2008

Book reviews

I've decided to review some of the books that I have read recently.

here is the list:

Carl Sagan - The Demon Haunted World - Science As A Candle In The Dark
Charles Darwin - The Origin of Species
Christopher_Hitchens - god_is_not_Great
Dreams of a Final Theory (Steven Weinberg)
Genius - Richard Feynman
God - The Failed Hypothesis - How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
Jared Diamond - guns, Germs and Steel by
Jared Diamond Collapse
Neil Shubin - Your Inner Fish
Pale Blue Dot -- by Carl Sagan
Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku
Pollock, Steven - Particle Physics For Non Physicists - 24 Lectures
Richard Dawkins - River Out of Eden
Richard Dawkins - The Ancestor's Tale by
Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion -
Richard Dawkins~ A Devil's Chaplain
River out of Eden (Richard Dawkins)
The End of Faith (Sam Harris)
The Language Instinct (Steven Pinker)
Sam Harris - Letter To A Christian Nation


I am thinking, one review every week or so. (I got lazy :( )