Archive for the ‘naturalism’ Category


They Just Can’t Help Themselves, Can They?

14 January, 2010

The earthquake in Haiti is tragic and horrific.  And the response from America was quick — U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard units were underway within, literally, hours.  And the the response from one of the most prolific mouthpieces of the religious right was adding insult within, literally, hours. Read the rest of this entry ?


Bishop allows villagers to notice ‘reality of nature’

10 August, 2009

A small village in Switzerland has, collectively, spent the last 331 or so years praying for one thing.  Now they are petitioning the Vatican to reverse their prayers (from Yahoo News (via the AP)):

Since the vow was established in 1678, the deal was simple: the citizens of the isolated mountain hamlets of Fiesch and Fieschertal would pledge to lead virtuous lives. In exchange, God would spare their homes and livelihoods from being swallowed by Europe’s largest glacier as it expanded toward the valley with heavy winter snows. Read the rest of this entry ?


The Poverty of a Young Earth Viewpoint

10 July, 2009

When I was 12 years old, my father took me out of school for two days and we hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  As we passed the Temple Butte Limestone and the  Tonto formation (Muav Limestone, Bright Angel Shale and Tapeats Sandstone) we began taking samples of each layer, placing them in my almost empty backpack, and carrying them down to Phantom Ranch.  We sampled the Temple Butte (a nice exposure along the Kaibab Trail), the Tonto, the accessible Grand Canyon Group, the Vishnu Schist and the Zoroaster Granite.  We also sampled the dikes and sills within the metamorphosed pre-Cambrian formations.  By the time we got to the bottom, my pack weighed around 60 pounds.  Those rocks came out of the canyon by mule.  We repeated the process on the way up, sampling the Redwall Limestone, the Supai Group, the Hermit Shale, Coconino Sandstone, Toroweap Limestone and Kaibab Limestone.

Ordinarily, this would be illegal as all get-out, but my dad was a Park Ranger and we were collecting the rocks for the museum at Yavapai Point.  Years later, when I visited the canyon again, I was rather put-out.  The large rocks we had hauled up and down the canyon trails had been cut down to samples twice the size of my fist.  I carried rocks three times the size, and they cut them down to little bitty pieces.  We could have chopped them down to size before lugging them around.

 According to more than half of Americans, the Grand Canyon is a monument to Noah’s Flood.   The shales, limestones, sandstones, lava flows, block faulting of the Grand Canyon Supergroup, the metamorphic Vishnu Schist and Zoroaster Granite (metamorphosed from sandstone, limestone, shale and lava flows) were deposited during and directly after the Noatic flood.  Read the rest of this entry ?


At Least Ussher Had An Excuse

26 May, 2009

Archbishop James Ussher was a  brilliant man.  He decided to figure out just how old the earthis and used both written history, astronomy, and the Old Testament of the Bible to do it.  And he arrived at the “entrance of the night preceding  the twenty-third day of October in the year of the Julian calendar 710.”  In other words, October 22, 4004 BC.  Despite slipshod calculations and a hefty helping of assumptions, this date is accepted by a remarkable number of Americans.  In the early 17th century, science was so limited, so primitive, so unrefined, that Ussher’s estimate was not bad.  Wrong, but, given the temporally necessary limitations, not bad.  He had an excuse.  He did not have to disbelieve almost everything in order to hang on to that date. Read the rest of this entry ?


Will You Help Me Find My Pink Unicorn?

20 February, 2009

This morning, I got up for work at 0630 and (((Wife))) asked me, “Will you help me look for my car keys?”

I paused for a moment.  (((Wife))) never (and I mean never) misplaces anything.  I can ask her where my Queen 2-bladed hunting knife is and she will know.  Exactly.  To the point of telling me what is on either side.  So after the pause, I said, “Sure.  Where’s the last place you remember having them?”

She smiled.  Then she asked, “Will you help me look for my pink unicorn?” Read the rest of this entry ?


One Full Year as Fully Realized Atheist

10 January, 2009

One year ago (on my 42nd birthday (I turn 43 tomorrow)), I realized that I am an atheist.  Long ago, I had transformed from a theist to a deist to a universal deist to an agnostic universal deist and stalled out there.  About a year-and-a-half ago, I discovered blogs.  Then I discovered atheism blogs.  I lurked about for about 3 months.  Then I began posting (initially as “Billy (A Liberal Disabled Vet),” then as “Billy (ALDV),” then as “Billy the Atheist,” then the parentheses were added (I think by SI, but I’m not sure) for some strange reason).  And, thanks to the conversations and posts on the atheosphere, I realized that I really am an atheist. Read the rest of this entry ?


Sneaky Little Bastards!

2 January, 2009

A few weeks ago, in response to a post I did about the importance of sex in education, Sarge (and happy slightly belated birthday) put this in the comments:

One has watched certain things on farms and in nature. Read the rest of this entry ?