Archive for the ‘Christianity’ 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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The Tactics of Authoritarianism: Fear

19 April, 2010

They (who) seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers call this a new order.  It is not new and it is not order.
                   Franklin Delano Roosevelt 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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Denver Missed the Memo

12 March, 2010

Since the beginning of the month, there have been three truly remarkable (remarkably disgusting, that is) cases involving the GLBT community.  Two responses:  punish everyone and blame the gays (Catholic Charities in Washington and the Iwatamba school district);  the third (Denver) didn’t get the memo. Read the rest of this entry ?

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American Jihadists? Yee-Fucking-Ha!!

3 March, 2010

I have been asked, through email and through comments, why I, as an atheist, give a flying fuck about theists — about what believers do, or think, or believe.  Why do I blog about religion and belief in god(s) if I am an unbeliever? 

There are many reasons I blog.  I blog to help me understand who I am.  I blog to poke fun at political and religious absurdity.  And I blog because I am scared abso-fucking-lutely shitless about the radical right. 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 ?