Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The little things in life

Sorry about this, but I woke up on the wrong side of someone else's bed this morning. For some reason, today things are really getting on my nerves. So I'mma do it to you...

The little things in life that will accumulate in my psyche until I become a serial killer (hardly a complete list):

-Being honestly intrigued about the legalization of certain drugs, the effects that that would have on our culture, economy, and justice areas (prison population in particular), and being very curious about the arguments on both sides of the issue, even though I'm fairly certain I'm for it, then trying to research it and finding most of the websites concerning it are by stoners who can't string a sentence longer than "Legalize it!" together, along with pictures of dried bunches of purple/green leaves.

-On a related note, people who justify their drug use as "expanding mind" bull. It seems that they must have a enlightenment based reason for their desire to get high. Just be honest and admit you like getting messed up, not caring for a while, and checking out of your normal state of mind for a bit. Don't make it sound like you're doing this for the good of humankind. Toke, sleep, go back to work. You are not a shaman.

-Having to explain that my choice of not usually eating meat doesn't threaten the livelihood of the person I'm in a conversation with, their personal/political views, or their gender identity, nor does it insult them, their mother's name, their favorite color, the shirt they're wearing, or the lineage of us as humans, nor does it make me think I'm superior to them, haughty, stuck up, or better than them. I just don't dig meat most times.

-There: a word directing to a place/area
They're: the combination of "They" and "Are"
Their: The plural possessive/ past indefinite antecedent when gender is unknown
Your: a form of the possessive case of "you"/ belonging to someone else
You're: the combination of "You" and "Are
Then: relating to time/ relating to "if/then" indirect relative comparisons
Than: direct comparison
If you're an idiot because of your inability to understand the above, then there is a place for you... the nice young men in their clean white coats will be there soon, and they're more gentle to you than I'll ever be.

-Phrases that start out "I'm not xxxxxx, but..." because they're invariably xxxxxx.

-Preferential treatment of religiosity. Tax exempt status for churches, the obligatory prayer at most meetings, accepting "it's my faith" as a legitimate viewpoint, indoctrination of children, even drug use as legal for those who profess a certain traditional faith. This does nothing but give people a false sense of persecution when it is mentioned that religion should stay out of government/public works.

-People who confuse faith and proof. Seeing is believing, but believing is not knowing. Believing is never knowing. Strange, but true.

-People who swear an oath of loyalty to a computer brand. "The soulless, faceless, greedy multinational corporation that manufactured my computer in a huge factory overseas is WAY better than the soulless, faceless, greedy multinational corporation that manufactured YOUR computer in a huge factory overseas!!!"

-People who complain about how government sucks, will never work right, can't do anything right, and is wholly evil and corrupt who then vote into power people who complain about how government sucks, will never work right, can't do anything right, and are wholly evil and corrupt, who then do their best to make sure that government sucks, will never work right, can't do anything right, and is wholly evil and corrupt.

Ahhhh... I feel better.

Song of teh post: Wrong Prayer, by Jaydiohead
Words of teh post: Then, Than, Your, You're, Their, They're, There. It's really not that hard.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Literally the bible... part 1.

(America's foremost creationist recreating his O face... Think about that next time you're feeling romantic...)

I'm not one to disparage the religious beliefs of others (snicker). However, literal biblical interpretation seems to be... ridiculous. After all, if one takes the bible literally, one has to contend not only with the inconsistencies and logical mistakes, one also has to ignore the mountains (literally... Mountains) of evidence that suggests the earth is much, Much, MUCH older than they say it is. However, their defense is to tell me to read the bible as a history book, taking it seriously and using it not as a guide to lead a moral life (which is strange, because there are some things in it that I don't consider moral... at ALL) but as literally as possible. So here we go...

GENESIS, CH. 1 (New International Version)

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Ok, so far no testable hypotheses, but I'm willing to go along...

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Hang on a second. If the waters were there, there was a form... the form of oceans. What exactly is meant by this?

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
From where?

4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
Uh... ok.

5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
So that was the first day. How did God know how long a day was without the light? Oh yeah... omniscient.

6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”
But all the oceans connect with each other. The border that separates the Atlantic from the Pacific is imaginary.

7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.
Ok, land, got it...

8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
The vault was sky? So in the beginning the universe was a pool? I don't get it.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.
Ok, here's the land. Gotcha. Still don't know where the light came from if the universe was water, though.

10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
Ok, so we've separated the water from the air, the land from the water. So far, actually, one could kind of say that this is the way the earth formed... kind of... if you squint really hard.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
Woah there, Kemosabe... First of all, what's a "kind?" Second, how did the seed bearing plants survive without insects to pollinate them? Spore release on the wind? That's quite inefficient. Mosses use low flowing water to spawn, and ferns used the whole air/spore deal, but those don't bear fruits... Fruits and seeds are different "kinds" from those other plants. Well, lets keep going...

12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
See the above retort.

13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
Ok, so plants, who now are totally reliant on insects for reproduction, were in the beginning completely separate from the insects. Did the fall make god so pissed at everything that the plants needed bugs to crawl along their reproductive organs? That apple was a much bigger deal than we thought.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
So god made the seasons AFTER the plants... What?

15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.
Didn't he already make lights?

16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.
The moon reflects sunlight, it doesn't produce it. And where did the light come from before he made the light later in the week? Is anyone else confused?

17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth,
Again, confused.

18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.
I should hope so. The day/night thing involves the rotation of the earth. If we didn't rotate, one area would cook and the other would be void. That would be SERIOUSLY bad planning.

19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
Ok, three days pass before the days are seperated. Makes perfect sense.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”
Here's the kicker. God creates creeping life. www.talkorigins.org for a full refutation of this concept.

21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Hell yeah it's good! We all love chicken fingers, even though they don't fly.

22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”
So god needed to tell the critters to do what is needed to reproduce? Did they really need encouragement? I don't.

23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
To recap: God creates things all out of order and in strange ways, with no discernible pattern or method other than magic, and humans aren't even in the picture yet, even though we, ostensibly, ARE critters.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.
Wait... livestock and other animals are of a separate group of "kinds" from the birds and the sea-critters? What kind of weirdness is this? And did the land produce them or did god create them?

25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Ok, so far god made chicken fingers before hamburgers, but included puppies with hamburgers (metaphorically speaking). Should we eat puppies? I'll try it... but I'm skeptical.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So god makes man out of "their" image. I'm sure he means the angels, but you try to get something this vague past Scientific American. Also, "rule over" doesn't really mean "eat," although that would have made medieval England much more interesting...

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Good. At least both men and women get equal dominion over the world! Think about how it would be if just MEN had the power!

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Once again, I know that I don't need any encouragement...

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
God wanted us to be vegetarian. Sweet!

30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Ok, so lions, with their sharp, pointy teeth, sharks, with their MANY sharp pointy teeth, and raptors, with their scary, MANY sharp pointy teeth, were supposed to be veggies. I've never seen a meat plant. But maybe I just haven't looked hard enough.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
In less than a week... If we're made in "their" image, why can't I get my house cleaned in an hour, much less create universes in a week?

Stay tuned for next time, when we take all that above stuff... and contradict it.