Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

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Lumpers, Splitters and Noah’s Ark

19 August, 2010

One of my father’s frequent pithy comments, one of his stock phrases, was, “The world is made up of two kinds of people:  lumpers and splitters.”  And palaeontologists are no exception.  Actually, they may be the definition of lumpers and splitters.

Scientists in almost every discipline are, whether they choose to admit it or not, are natural splitters.  Every (well, almost every) budding palaeontologist is a splitter.  Why?  What better way to get one’s name noticed, to get that elusive grant or, even better, teaching position, than to have your very own genus chalked up on your wall of fame?  This means, of course, that species are sometimes described based upon flimsy evidence.  One of the most famous was Apatosaurus/Brontosaurus.  Othniel Marsh, one of the true giants of early palaeontology, described Apatosaurus ajax based on a very incomplete fossil in 1877.  Then, two years later, he described Brontosaurus excelsus  based on six skeletons and part of a skull.  A quarter century later, the species, which had been split, was lumped back together by Elmer Riggs.  Of course, Brontosaurus is such a beautiful name that we continue to use it, though it is a junior synonym. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Fearing the ‘Other’

25 March, 2010

I strongly suspect that (((Wife))) and I scare the shit out of many extremely religious people.  I bet dollars to donuts that my best friend does, too.  Why?  We’re boringly normal.   Read the rest of this entry ?

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Wholesale Child Abuse

2 March, 2010

When I was young I lived for a time at Grand Canyon.  Right on the rim.  I went to Grand Canyon Elementary School from early in my first grade year to early in my sixth year.  And I saw my first example of child abuse. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Marry a Committed Lover? No. Marry a Stranger? Yes.

19 February, 2010

As I have said (written?) before, one of my best friends is gay.  He envies the relationship I have with (((Wife))).  He envies the fact that I can be married.  Here in Pennsylvania, he cannot.  Hell, we don’t even have a domestic partnership law — Pennsylvania has gone so far as to ban, by statute, gay marriage. 

Two total strangers (as long as they are of opposite sex) can get married.  An 80-year-old geezer can marry (in most states) a sixteen-year-old girl.  A death row inmate can marry a girl he only met through the mail.  Yet, in most states, gay and lesbian lovers, who may have long term, committed relationships, cannot marry.  Why not?  Religion. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Panties in a Bunch Over Pink Ouija Boards?

6 February, 2010

One of the toys that we three kids played with when I was younger was an Ouija board.  Oddly, no matter what question was asked, or by whom, the answer usually matched the thoughts of the oldest of the three.  Not little (((Billy))).  Harmless fun.  Well, for me, annoying.  For my older sisters, fun.

Years later, I discovered that Ouija boards were not viewed as harmless fun.  They were, according to one local preacher (local (at this time) being Western Maryland) decried the boards as a gateway to Satanism.  As marijuana leads inexorably to opium, so Ouija leads directly to Satanic cults, orgies, human sacrifice. atheism, Darwinism, voting Democrat, alcoholism, divorce, and viewing the Bible as allegorical.  Apparently, Christians (the specific subset of literalist Christians (and selected others)) are so insecure that they think a children’s game — a boring children’s game — is a threat to their belief system. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Christianist Values: Jesus on a Sniper Scope!

19 January, 2010

Trijicon  is, by most accounts, a reputable member of the national defense establishment and the NRA.  I know that they produce excellent scopes for rifles — for hunting trophies, for meat, and for hunting humans (real quick caveat:  I do not hunt but I have no real problem with most hunters;  I also understand the ethics and efficacy of military sniping — neither is the point of this post (not that that will stop some, but . . .)).  It would appear that they are, at some level, full-blown Christianists looking to ‘save’ the Middle East (after all, those ragheads are worshipping the wrong misogynistic psychopathic ‘god(s)’) for the greater glory of the eternal paradise of  . . .   Sorry. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Right is not Right Enough for the Right!

8 January, 2010

Off the top of my pointy little head, I can think of many, many truly uncomfortable things that I could be doing.  Getting a root canal while listening to rap music is up there near the top.  As is listening to the 1812 Overture played entirely by cats on blackboards.  Nothing that I can think of, however, could be as bad as running for office as a member of the Grand Old Party, forced to please both the religious and political radical right. 

The party has moved so far to the right that a right-winger like McCain or Snow are considered too liberal.  The teabaggers and thumpers are controlling who can, and cannot, be elected as a Republican, and it is based on faith, not fact.  Today, Saint Ronald Himself would not be an acceptable conservative.

 Two cases in point: Read the rest of this entry ?