Tag Archives: evolution

Letting Go of God

Julia Sweeney’s one-woman show, Letting Go of God, is one of the most inspiring monologues I’ve ever heard. A brutally honest recollection of her path from superstition to reason.

From the poster of Virgo on her wall to the copy of ‘Origin of Species’ on the deck of a Galapagos cruise-boat to her pair of ‘No God’ glasses, Julia bears her heart, mind, body and yes (dare I say it) soul to tell us the story of how she slowly came to realize there was no God.

Considering this is the second time I’ve posted about this amazing performance, I honestly can’t recommend this show enough. Julia is funny and inspiring, all the while, presenting deep and thought-provoking content.

Please, go out and grab the CD or DVD ASAP.

Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort are giving away copies of ‘Origin of Species’

So, banana man and his right hand guy will be giving away some 50,000 copies of Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ at universities across the country. There’s only one problem.

Each copy will include a 50 page intro attempting to explain how evolution has never been proven and how Darwin helped inspire the Holocaust.

This is sad and pathetic at the same time. But something good can come of this.

If you are in college, then you are in a good position to help. Check your campus on November 19th, and if you see a group distributing copies of the book, then get as many as you can. Get a copy for yourself, ask if you can have extra copies for your friends, ask your friends to go ask for copies, and ask other people you see carrying the book if you can have their copy. Remove the 50 page intro, and then donate perfectly good copies of ‘Origin of Species’ to schools, libraries, and Goodwill. We can actually make this into something positive.

I guess the banana wasn’t enough proof after all.

You can watch this video for more information.

Via: Richard Dawkins

UPDATE: The NCSE has created the Don’t Diss Darwin site to combat Comfort’s copies of Origin.

Darwin made manifest in Dayton, TN

You gotta love The Onion. A fantastic hit on creationist’s use of the word “Darwinism” to describe people’s acceptance of evolution as a religious belief system. 

DAYTON, TN—A steady stream of devoted evolutionists continued to gather in this small Tennessee town today to witness what many believe is an image of Charles Darwin—author of The Origin Of Species and founder of the modern evolutionary movement—made manifest on a concrete wall in downtown Dayton.

The article has some hilarious satirical quotes to go along.

I brought my baby to touch the wall, so that the power of Darwin can purify her genetic makeup of undesirable inherited traits,” said Darlene Freiberg, one among a growing crowd assembled here to see the mysterious stain, which appeared last Monday on one side of the Rhea County Courthouse. The building was also the location of the famed “Scopes Monkey Trial” and is widely considered one of Darwinism’s holiest sites. “Forgive me, O Charles, for ever doubting your Divine Evolution. After seeing this miracle of limestone pigmentation with my own eyes, my faith in empirical reasoning will never again be tested.”

Dayton’s not that far away. I may make the pilgrimage to this holy site.

Via: The Onion

The 1st Carnival of Evolution

Minds more brilliant than my own bring you fascinating collections of fantastic evolution reading material in the 1st Carnival of Evolution. 3.7 billion years of molecular changes culminating in the emergence of matter inspecting its own origins and existence.

Do you care about the science behind evolution? Do you marvel at the tiny molecular machines spewing out coded messages to the microscopic inhabitants of your own bodied world? Do you grow irate at the ignorance pushers, the peddlers of relatively impotent gods, and the disintegration of science education in the modern world? Do you like to stay abreast of current topics and scientific findings in the study of the organismal existences surrounding us or those long gone?

If so, this is the blog carnival for you.

They’re currently asking for submissions for CoE #2, which will be hosted by EvolutionBlog.

Via: The Atheist Blogger

What will Willis think of next?

Tom Willis, the creationist who was wondering whether evolutionists should be allowed to vote (and, of course decided ‘no’) has a new silly question (and insane answer) for us all. Should Evolutionists Be Allowed to Roam Free in the Land?

His conclusion, though predictable, still comes with some amazing highlights of insanity. After concluding that all evolutionists are incompetent warriors against Christianity (If we’re incompetent, why be scared in the first place?), he lists a few options for what could be done with us all.

  • Labor camps. Their fellow believers were high on these. But, my position would be that most of them have lived their lives at, or near the public trough. So, after their own beliefs, their life should continue only as long as they can support themselves in the camps.
  • Require them to wear placards around their neck, or perhaps large medallions which prominently announce “Warning: Evolutionist! Mentally Incompetent – Potentially Dangerous.” I consider this option too dangerous.
  • Since evolutionists are liars and most do not really believe evolution we could employ truth serum or water-boarding to obtain confessions of evolution rejection. But, this should, at most, result in parole, because, like Muslims, evolutionist religion permits them to lie if there is any benefit to them.
  • An Evolutionist Colony in Antarctica could be a promising option. Of course inspections would be required to prevent too much progress. They might invent gunpowder. A colony on Mars would prevent gunpowder from harming anyone but their own kind, in the unlikely event they turned out to be intelligent enough to invent it.
  • All options should include 24-hour sound system playing Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris reading Darwin’s Origin of Species, or the preservation of Favored Races by Means of Natural Selection. Of course some will consider this cruel & unusual, especially since they will undoubtedly have that treatment for eternity.

I’m just… yeah.

Via: Pharyngula

Denyse O’Leary and the creationist’s problem

Denyse O’Leary, the creationist evangelist whose rhetoric has been best described by ERV as ‘word salad’ just can’t conceive of ideas moving forward or even beyond their originators. In a short post on the Post-Darwinist blog (no linkage for you) she shows every so clearly just why creationists can’t grasp modern scientific concepts.

Actually, never mind human life, I don’t think even animal life can be fully explained – or even reasonably explained – in Darwinian terms. And plant life – definitely not! Lamarck and Mendel could tell you far more about plants than Darwin ever did.

All stupidity aside, what O’Leary fails to note is that any modern geneticist would most likely have Mendel’s jaw on the floor and his head spinning simultaneously. Mendel did great work in the first days of genetics but his research was very incomplete. Mendel got lucky in that all the traits he was looking for in his plants were all on separate chromesomes. It took Thomas Hunt Morgan to discover that when two genes controlling two different characteristics were on the same chromesome, they were usually inherited together. Research that won him the 1933 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology.

Science doesn’t stop with a theory’s discoverer. New scientists take over the reigns and carry the torch on through the next generation making new discoveries and adding to or editing the previous theories. Creationists problem is that they seem to want everything in life to work just like their precious little Bible. Once something is written down by the creator, never shall it be changed. A pretty absurd assumption on their part. Especially considering the scrapbook origins of said precious book.

Via: Post Darwinist

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. – Richard Dawkins

Why teaching evolution is important

Evolution crusader Olivia Judson has written yet another excellent op-ed piece in the New York Times on the importance of teaching evolution in school classrooms. She breaks it down into three main reasons:

  1. Understanding of the evolutionary model that can be applied to other changing systems.
  2. Immediately relevant to the understanding of diseases and the ecosystem.
  3. Provides a philosophical understanding of the way science works.

I can’t find fault in any of those and could probably add a few of my own. Although the heart of the article is the non-debate over the teaching of evolution vs. biblical creationism, Judson intelligently steers clear from making it the main focal point. As The Friendly Atheist points out, “Teaching them that there is an accepted or debated alternative just makes the problem worse.” I couldn’t agree more. There is no real debate. Its a non-issue. Intelligent Design/Creationism is not a scientific theory and therefore not an alternative to evolution. Its just religion trying to stick its nose where it doesn’t belong.

…since the science classroom is where a contempt for evidence is often first encountered, it is also arguably where it first begins to be cultivated. A society where ideology is a substitute for evidence can go badly awry.

You’ll get no argument from me. You can read the whole article here. It’s short and well worth your time.

Via: The New York Times, The Friendly Atheist

The Genius of Charles Darwin by Richard Dawkins

Another excellent documentary by Richard Dawkins on the elegant simplicity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Within just the first 10 minutes, Dawkins creates an excellent metaphor for the body of evidence supporting evolution.

Nobody’s actually seen evolution take place over a long period but they’ve seen the after-effects and the after-effects are massively supported. Its like a case in a court of law where nobody can actually stand up and say, “I saw the murder happen.” But yet you’ve got millions and millions of pieces of evidence which no reasonable person could possibly dispute.