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  1. As I've mentioned a couple of times, there's a creationism conference happening in Australia which begins tomorrow (Monday) and runs until Friday. Schedule of talks: http://creation.com/conferences/creation2016/schedule.php List of speakers: http://creation.com/conferences/creation2016/speakers.php I purpose plan to take notes and share them in this thread for your edification amusement personal choice of reasons. Hopefully my tablet is up to the task. Let me know if there are any sessions which particularly interest you. In the mean time, here's a behind the scenes sneak peek: (insert Mission Impossible music here) Screenshot of schedule for convenience:
  2. Lisafer

    Adam and His Pet Dinosaurs

    I was raised to believe without question that every word of the Bible was true, breathed from the lips of God and miraculously preserved over thousands of years. And not just any Bible: the King James Version (Authorized Version) is the preferred, almost idolatrously revered version for a lot of Reformed Presbyterians and other Christian sects. Don’t try to convince a KJV-only believer that there’s anything better than their 17th-century translation! If you can’t understand the antique English phrasing, that’s your problem. You are obviously a lazy modern Evangelical, and not a true yoke-fellow. You should get comfortable with “thees,” “thous,” and the horrible “dung” of 400-year-old patriarchal bias, or you may be smitten with emerods. (I just had to look up what the heck an emerod is, and I was raised on the KJV!) However, this article isn’t about versions of the Scripture, although I find it hilarious that the King James, of all the versions of the Bible in existence, is so adored by anti-gay fundamentalists. It was commissioned by King James I, who most likely had several male lovers in his lifetime. Not to mention that it was commissioned for the “apostate” and “Papist” Church of England. But that’s a story in itself. You can still be a Biblical literalist even if you use a different version. Literalism is a way of interpreting the Bible that holds that every word is inspired by God and therefore infallible. According to this view, there are no mistakes in the original works as they came from the pens of various writers. Any errors or contradictions are either tortured into harmony or explained as an error of transcription from the originals. Even with literalism, though, there are different shades of interpretation. I wasn’t raised to believe that the Earth was flat and that the Sun revolved around it, as described by the ancients. I was, however, taught that the creation story in the book of Genesis was absolutely true in a literal sense. My siblings and I memorized a song about the days of creation, naming the various things created on each day and culminating in the seventh day of rest. We made little booklets and drawings of the events during science unit studies. Adam was real, Eve was real, the serpent in the garden was real, and the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was as real as the apples on the kitchen counter. The Earth, we were told, was approximately 6,000 years old, based on Ussher’s chronology. Any ideas to the contrary were suppressed. We didn’t have many books on dinosaurs, because such books were full of references to “epochs” and “millions of years.” We were taught that humans co-existed with the dinosaurs, and that the dinosaurs probably died out after the Great Flood of Genesis, which actually covered the whole earth with water and drowned everybody except Noah, Mrs. Noah, and the kids. (Side note: it is such a relief to me that I no longer have to believe in the Great Flood. It just doesn’t make sense, and I think it bothered me subconsciously for a long time). When I got into my teen years, I had access to “science” books “debunking” evolution. Darwin was practically the Antichrist, and Ken Ham was a true prophet of the Lord. I feel a little sad looking back, because not accepting evolution as a legitimate explanation for the world as we know it cut off so many avenues of study and interest. Anthropology, astronomy, zoology—you’re most likely not going to get very far when you hold a viewpoint contradicted by the evidence. At best, you’re going to waste a lot of time inventing workarounds for the contradictions. I remember being probably 9 or 10 years old and attending a “Creation Seminar” put on by the Institute for Creation Research, or ICR. The seminar consisted of the usual explanations and defenses of Young-Earth Creationism, but what I remember most (besides being thrilled by apocryphal tales of dinosaurs still living in remote rainforests) was talking to my parents about how I’d heard of a view called “Old-Earth Creationism,” which accepts the evolutionary process and doesn’t interpret the days of Genesis as literal 24-hour days. I was pleased by this idea. It made sense to me. But when I mentioned the theory, it was shot down immediately. I was disappointed—I still remember that disappointment—and I retreated back into the hard-core fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis. I want to stop and make a point here. Young-Earth Creationists are not necessarily stupid. They really aren’t. My parents are highly intelligent people who excelled in college before they “went fundie.” I’ve known lawyers, teachers, accountants, business professionals, and other highly-skilled, highly-educated people who held to a literal interpretation of Genesis and the rest of the Bible. I was well out of college with a 4.0 GPA before I began to question the Genesis account. It’s not stupidity; it’s a huge blind spot. I know some people assume that creationists are stupid, but it’s like assuming that people in cults are stupid, when psychology assures us that we are all vulnerable to the cult mindset. In fundie circles, there’s a lot of pressure to believe a certain way. But why is Creationism such a big deal? Why can’t fundamentalist Christians just accept the evidence of how the world came to be? Evolution does not preclude God. You can believe in the divine and in the process of evolution simultaneously. The reason that Creationism is such a big deal is that once you begin to question the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, you might begin to question everything. If you believe that the entire Bible is literally true, contains all the answers, and has no mistakes, you can live your life in a closed system of belief. But when doubt creeps in and evolution starts making sense, you’re on a path that leads beyond the walls. When you realize that the creation story is a metaphor, an ancient praise of the divine essence lacking in scientific validity, it opens up a whole new can of amoebas. What else might be interpreted metaphorically? The story of Abraham and Isaac? The story of Jonah? (Yes, for over twenty years I firmly believed that Jonah really was swallowed by a giant fish and lived in its belly for three days until being vomited out.) The Virgin Birth? Should it be taken literally? Oh, heresy, heresy! For me, the shattering of my belief in Biblical literalism took many years to happen. A crack here, a chip in the plaster there, until the walls crumbled around me. Questions about the validity of the Bible weren’t really encouraged—everything was biased in one direction. If someone were to ask the deep questions, like: “Is there a God?” they’d be promptly answered by “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalms 14:1). The serpent in Genesis (yeah, the one that literally spoke) was a questioner, asking if God had really said not to eat the fruit of Knowledge. So if you questioned the Bible, you were on a par with the serpent. No longer believing in an infallible Divine book has left me with a lot of uncertainties and mystery, but I find myself delighted at the freedom to question. I also feel relief from the burden of disliking God. A God who suggests killing little babies by smashing their heads on rocks and ripping up pregnant women with swords (Psalms 137:9) is really hard to love. I was so tired of the trite explanations for how we should love a God like that. Fuck, I didn’t want to love a God like that, but we were supposed to. So I tried, I tried, I really, really tried. Cognitive dissonance is forcing your conscious mind to believe that you love the fundie-Christian God while deep, deep down inside you…you know he’s an asshole. It’s such a relief not to have to believe in a divine asshole. I believe in the Divine, but not in God the genocidal maniac who created people and then drowned them in a fit of rage. It gives me joy not to believe in that. And I have the freedom now to ask questions, and the freedom to look for answers.
  3. Recent happenings at Kentucky Ark Encounter Snippet from article https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/12/21/creationist-theme-park-lights-up-noahs-ark-to-reclaim-rainbow-from-gay-people/
  4. Here is a super exciting video of workmen moving a cage into place. They use flatbed trucks and cranes just like Noah did! I'm irrationally irked that they did not use period building techniques to "prove" that this shit is real. So is this just going to be a big warehouse full of empty cages? Are they going to use stuffed animals? Animatronics? Or is it going to be the absolute saddest zoo ever? http://jezebel.com/clear-your-calendars-because-that-noahs-ark-theme-park-1742204553
  5. hard to tell if this is real or not. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/16/school-teaching-creationism-with-video-from-islamic-sex-cult.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link Youngstown, Ohio, students are learning creationism in school with materials from a Islamic, Holocaust-denying group accused of being a sex cult. A curriculum map (PDF) recommends teachers in this public school district show a creationist video, Cambrian Fossils and the Creation of Species, as part of 10th-grade science education. The video claims that the Cambrian Explosion “totally invalidates the theory of evolution.” The Cambrian Explosion was a time period, nearly 550 million years ago, where, over the next tens of millions of years, the number of species on Earth experienced a (relatively) rapid expansion by evolutionary standards. Christian creationists regularly point to this explosion of life as evidence for creation by God and against evolution. Blink and you’d miss the Islamic connection in the video. A black screen flashes for less than one second that says “this film is based on the works of Harun Yahya.” In the right corner, there’s a gold bubble that says, “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” in Arabic. Harun Yahya, whom The Daily Beast has covered before, is a pseudonym for Adnan Oktar, a creationist cult leader and Islamic televangelist who owns Turkey’s A9 TV channel. Yahya (along with his followers) is the author of hundreds books, including an 800-page Atlas of Creation, and another (PDF), which Oktar has now disavowed, titled The Holocaust Deception: The Hidden Story of Nazi-Zionist Collaboration and the Inner Story of the Hoax of “Jewish Holocaust.”
  6. ignorance expands exponentially. http://www.fox19.com/story/31124399/creation-museum-aims-to-triple-in-size?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link
  7. I watched most of the video, but this was just all sorts of all over the place. Cult practices, wealthy leader, weird, faux feminist views, with more make-up and plastic surgery, then a "House wifes of..." show. Thought this was worth, a look at, I would be interested in learning more about them. https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/video/inside-the-weird-world-of-an-islamic-feminist-cult?utm_source=broadlyfbukads
  8. In a recent edition of the Jehovah's Witness magazine "Awake", they used an out of context quote from a biology professor to make it sound like the professor was saying that there is an educated and non-religious argument against evolution. In reality, once some ex-JWs contacted the professor, he made it clear that the JWs totally twisted the meaning of his quote. This should not be any sort of surprise, since the JWs have a an extremely long history of using quotes deceptively or outright lying in their magazines. Since, of course, a biologist of all people understands how nothing in biology makes sense without the context of evolution, the good Professor Singh wrote an open letter to the JWs asking for the quote to be removed and requesting an apology to undo the damage to his professional reputation that they had caused by making it look like he agrees with creationists. Well, it looks like the JWs finally were scared enough of being sued that they did some editing. They have now quietly removed that quote without offering any sort of apology or correction, of course. I wonder if Prof. Singh can sue them for not issuing a formal correction.
  9. The guy is an idiot NASA is not the place to preach creationism. Looks like hey annoyed everyone with his beliefs would not stop but then fired for no reason? LOS ANGELES (AP) - A computer specialist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is going to court over allegations that he was wrongfully terminated because of his belief in intelligent design. Opening statements in the lawsuit by David Coppedge were expected to start Tuesday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court after lawyers spent Monday arguing several pretrial motions. Coppedge, who worked as a team lead on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, claims he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work. Intelligent design is the belief that a higher power must have had a hand in creation because life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone. Coppedge lost his team lead title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission. In an emailed statement, JPL dismissed Coppedge's claims. In court papers, lawyers for the California Institute of Technology, which manages JPL for NASA, said Coppedge received a written warning because his co-workers complained of harassment. They also said Coppedge lost his team lead status because of ongoing conflicts with others. Caltech lawyers contend Coppedge was one of two Cassini technicians and among 246 JPL employees let go last year due to planned budget cuts. The case has generated interest among supporters of intelligent design. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, and the Discovery Institute, a proponent of intelligent design, are both supporting Coppedge's case. The National Center for Science Education, which rejects intelligent design as thinly veiled creationism, is also watching the case and has posted all the legal filings on its website. Coppedge's attorney, William Becker, contends his client was singled out by his bosses because they perceived his belief in intelligent design to be religious. Coppedge had a reputation around JPL as an evangelical Christian, and interactions with co-workers led some to label him as a Christian conservative, Becker said. In the lawsuit, Coppedge says he believes other things also led to his demotion, including his support for a state ballot measure that sought to define marriage as limited to heterosexual couples and his request to rename the annual holiday party a Christmas party. Coppedge is seeking attorney's fees and costs, damages for wrongful termination and a statement from the judge that his rights were violated, said Becker.
  10. Ok this is the oldest living tree it is 9500 years old. simple math proves it. But I guess people were mistaken when they counted the rings or the devil planted it to throw off christians. There are other 3000+ year old trees on the link. The world’s oldest known living tree sprouted sometime during the last Ice Age, roughly 9,550 years ago. This 16-foot spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden may look more like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, but don’t be fooled: this little guy’s root system got started back when the British Isles were still connected to Europe by an ice bridge. According to Wired, geologist Leif Kullman, who discovered the tree, named it after his dead dog. Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archiv ... z1lcfQ79MB --brought to you by mental_floss! http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/115470
  11. I just thought you' d all like to know that your probably going to hell so you might as well have some fun now. I guess I better get rid of my golden Oprah statue. What is Theistic Evolution? How do I know if I'm guilty if no one tells me what it is. edited because I forgot the link. Doh http://www.onthebox.us/
  12. Nothing2CHere

    Sunday's Doonesbury Comic

    For some reason, this made me think of our fundies - this past Sunday's Doonesbury comic about teaching creationism in public schools: http://cdn.svcs.c2.uclick.com/c2/037de7 ... 163e41dd5b
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