Thursday, 8 December 2011

X-mas bullshit...

Whilst perusing facebook at work today I came across this status plastered everywhere:

"Just so everyone knows, I have a CHRISTMAS TREE in my living room (not a holiday tree), my family will be getting CHRISTMAS PRESENTS (not holiday gifts) and we will eat CHRISTMAS DINNER (not a holiday meal), and I will attend a CHRISTMAS PARTY (not a holiday party). I will also very cheerfully wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS! (not... happy holidays). By the way, if you want to have a Happy Hanukah, by all means do, I respect that. If you want to have a Blessed Kwanzaa, I also respect that. I want to have a Merry Christmas, so I ask YOU to respect that!!! "

For some reason this just infuriated me (mostly because in the UK there has never really been a Christmas/holidays issue), I just felt like screaming "I don't give a flying fuck what you celebrate in your own home!" I found the whole thing quite arrogant; the statement that this person would wish me a merry Christmas (a holiday celebrating a religious event I don't believe in) but by no means would say happy holidays yet they ask that I respect their beliefs. The entirety of the post seems to me to say: If you're religious I respect you, if not I don't but I want to seem politically correct and want you to respect me.

I tried not to make a fuss though I did have to remark that the person was actually celebrating the winter solstice; a holiday stolen by the Christian church. What do you think? Am I overreacting or is my anger at this status deserved?

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Unfortunately a colleague of mine passed away the other day, it was an extremely sad event, however, it resulted in an onslaught of religious expression throughout the office which set me to thinking. In situations like this I will, as I would assume most people would, refrain from anti-theistic remarks; if somebodies religion helps them through a difficult episode it is not my place to trample on that. What really got me thinking was when I was signing a card for my colleagues family I barely prevented myself from writing "may he rest in peace." Although it may be a nice thing to say I believe that it would have been written under false pretences.

As an atheist I believe that the statement rest in piece is just a meaningless platitude offered in place of something truly meaningful, yet I know it is a statement theists and atheists a like will often say. I settled for: "he was a man whom I was honoured to know and he will be sorely missed"; not only do I believe this is far more personal and meaningful than R.I.P but I believe it is honest.

I would like to know what your opinions are on this; is spouting something you believe to be false ok in such a circumstance, is offering platitudes to try and comfort someone fine or should we try to be more honest?
check them out for a multitude of crustacean fun :)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

News Story of the Week

This week the Catholic church and other Christian sects have been rebelling against the so called "birth control mandate" initiated by President Obama's administration. The mandate is ensuring medical institutions and insurers to provide "preventative health care" essentially provide affordable birth control devices, procedures and drugs.

In my opinion this topic has absolutely nothing to do with the church, of course they aren't going to like the concept as it goes against their teachings but does that really mean that nobody should have access to these services regardless of their faith? Whether or not an individual wishes to have access to these services and products is their decision, the church has no authority to insist otherwise.

I believe that the US first amendment is quite clear regarding the separation of church and state so how is it that the Catholic church seems to think they should have it their way? This story really makes me happy that I live in the UK!

For the link to the original article click Here

Coming out...

Here's the thing, in the UK most people are pretty damn laid back with regards to religion, and due to this I have never really felt isolated due to my beliefs like many of my online atheist friends. All my friends are perfectly aware of my (lack of) religious beliefs, and on the whole most of my friends probably share my viewpoints. In the grand scheme f things I've got things pretty good, that is until I'm around my family; apart from my brother (also an atheist) my entire family are quite religious, and although I'm quite certain they know I'm an atheist it's something we have never once discussed (this is probably due to the fact that my mother threatened to kick my older brother out of the house when he came out as an atheist).

I often wonder is their any point in coming out as an atheist to them, I only see my family maybe once or twice a year, they don't really hold any negative views regarding atheism (as it seems is commonly the case in the US) so I don't think me coming out would alter their perceptions regarding the subject, and we never actually discuss religion in any way shape or form.

I'd love to hear what any of you guys think and/or any personal experiences you may have had in regards to "coming out" as an atheist.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

and drumroll please.....Religious Argument No.1

No new species has ever been seen to arise

For a long time this was a valid argument; even though we had frequently observed what the fundies refer to as micro-evolution (small adaptations within a species), we had not fully witnessed macro-evolution (development of a new species by evolution). Even though all people of rational mind can understand and (usually) believe that this “macro-evolution” does occur we understand that due to the timeframe these changes require the likelihood of actually witnessing macro-evolution are very small.

However in 2008 a study by Blount, Borland and Lenski showed proof of this “macro-evolution," and not only has it been witnessed, and all data samples maintained to prove that this did happen, the process is repeatable. This is an amazing discovery and definitive proof of evolution.

The link to paper is below, I would advise having a read through, it is quite an impressive article!

Religious Argument No.2

You can’t prove God doesn’t exist!

I was going to put this as No. 1 purely because it comes up so frequently and is so annoying but I think due to the actual importance of the now No.1 this statement had to get knocked down a peg.

No I can’t, but as comedian Ricky Gervais puts it “It annoys me that the burden of proof is on us. It should be: ‘You came up with the idea. Why do you believe it?’ I could tell you I’ve got superpowers. But I can’t go up to people saying ‘Prove I can’t fly.” They’d go: ‘What do you mean ‘Prove you can’t fly’? Prove you can!”

I think Ricky has it spot on, at the end of the day I’m not the one who believes that there is a magical man up in the sky, and that the earth is only 6,000 years old regardless of any evidence that contradicts my beliefs, why should the onus be on myself to disprove the essentially insane claims of the religious.

Religious Argument No.3

Historical records show that Jesus was real etc.

I’ve pretty much covered this in a previous post, but I’ll break it down into 2 parts:

1. Records regarding the existence of Jesus are not exactly clear, there are many scholars today that believe that there is significant evidence to suggest the man never even existed, some scholars believe he probably did exist (a lot of this is based on Roman records of execution which outline the execution of “Josephus” around about the same time-frame) but that most accounts detailed in the bible are wildly inaccurate and heavily embellished.

Which leads us quite nicely onto point 2:

2.Was Jesus the son of god / god incarnate as man; I would say that this is essentially the basis of the argument, the answer…no. Many people would try to slam me at this point for being so certain of this point, however, during this time period there were actually many “messiahs” roaming about, most of them quite widely reported in historical texts, and yet here we have the bible telling us that Jesus was the one true messiah wandering the land, performing miracles, healing the sick (most of the other messiahs were also claimed to have carried out the same acts) and yet we have no real historical evidence, surely if this guy had been the real deal the records would vastly outweigh any records for the other messiahs…but they don’t!

Religious Argument No.4

I know from personal experience / in my heart that god is real

This one is just stupid, I am actually quite aggravated in responding this (and I set myself this challenge), personal emotions and opinions do not equate to fact; that would be like a jury sentencing someone to the electric chair because in their heart they believe them to be guilty regardless of any evidence. Essentially this statement is just stupid and illogical.

Religious Argument No.5

The bible has historical truths therefore it must all be true

If you can’t spot the fallacy in this statement you deserve a slap…with a baseball bat. I always find it amusing to turn this argument around and make a comparison to something else such as “The Lion, he Witch and the Wardrobe” It starts during the Second World War which I’m pretty sure actually happened, the children we’re evacuated out of London to a more rural area for their safety (again this happened) so that must mean NARNIA IS REAL!!

I think that should be enough to put that one to rest but I’ll delve a bit further, ok there are some historical events mentioned in the bible that did happen, however, there are so many that we know to be incorrect; for example the fact that there is no evidence outside of the bible that suggests the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians (who tended to keep pretty good records of things so you’d expect to see at least some evidence), or that there was any mass exodus of slaves from Egypt, or that there was ever a man named Moses who had any part in these fictional activities. Let’s put it this way, even the very existence of Jesus is frequently questioned by historians…it’s all true? Not a chance!

Religious Argument No.6

If God isn't real where does love come from?

This one is complex, in all honesty we don’t know the exact causes of all emotions, we have several hypotheses as to why certain emotions evolved i.e. lust or love become useful tools in maintaining a mate and therefore propagating your genes. We also know that there are strong neurochemical reaction involved, such as the release of serotonin, oxytocin and testosterone in the brain leading to different sensations and physiological reactions which are then interpreted by the brain as emotions.

But I would like to counter the question with another question, what does the existence of one of many emotions have to do with the existence of a god? I would say that the question in itself is pointless, just because we didn't know the cause of certain emotions it doesn’t mean that the emotion was created by god, that’s known as a god of the gaps argument which is just a cop out.

Below is an image (from that wonderful Wikipedia) showing an extremely simplified chemical basis of love:

Foundational Falsehood of Creationism

Just to take a break from my arguments, check out this; the first in a very good series by youtuber aronra

Religious Argument No.7

If evolution is true why are there still monkeys?

I’m sure we’ve all heard this one a million times over yet it always seems to come around again. I often think this argument is just thrown in to wind up the debating atheist…or maybe the religious fundamentalist is really just that stupid!

The most straight forward and simple explanation is that we didn’t evolve from the modern day apes but we did have a common ancestor (ltr 12 in the below image) with them which is why we share so much genetic information with them.

Genetic analyses of modern day primates, along with extensive fossil records quite clearly demonstrate that we do share a common ancestor with modern day “monkeys.” For a more in depth view of this evidence see:

Religious Argument No.8

Charles Darwin recanted on his death bed


Well what can I really say about this one that hasn’t already been said a million times before? I suppose I should cover the background of this fallacy to start; originally this lunacy was published by a Baptist newspaper, the author a Lady Hope. After this publication; spreading doubts over Darwin’s faith and veracity in his own works, Darwin’s family denied its validity stating that Lady Hope’s accounts were untrue. There have also been further evidences suggesting that Lady Hope’s statements were either entirely false or heavily embellished.

Even if Lady Hope’s claims were true however it would in no way lessen the veracity of evolutionary theory, do these religious apologists genuinely believe that the theory has not advanced or gained any further evidence over the last 100 years?

I believe the religious idea that throwing Darwin into doubt throws the entire theory into doubt is seated in their own beliefs, however scientific theory and religion are not the same; if Darwin were to be discredited it would not alter the veracity of evolution, the same cannot be said for Jesus.

Religious Argument No.9

Why do we never see any transitional fossils?

This is an especially aggravating argument as it is completely false as can be quite clearly seen in the below image:

Images copyright 2000 Smithsonian Institution

Anyone actually willing to look can find examples of transitional fossils within moments, why do I get the feeling that religious apologists just don’t want to see the evidence?

Religious Argument No.10

Evolution is just a theory – a guess with no evidence

The problem with this argument is unfortunately so simple it often gives me a headache when arguing it; a theory in biology is not the same as a theory in every day life, it has a different definition:

Scientific theory falls under this definition:

1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

Whereas most religious apologists seem to equate it to these definitions:

4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory
6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.

Definitions Source:

There are literally libraries and museums full of evidence for evolution which (obviously I can’t put it all on here). A lot of clear concise evidence is provided in the following link:

Just think about this...

“Those who blasphemed and back away from the ways of Allah and die as blasphemers, Allah shall not forgive them.” [Qur'an 4:48]

“Let there be no compulsion in the religion: Clearly the Right Path (i.e. Islam) is distinct from the crooked path.” [Qur'an 2:256]

Source :

If you, yes you reading this post were born and raised in Iran, if you were living there currently by Islamic law you could potentially be killed as an atheist. I dont think I really need to say anything else...

They're at it again...

Don’t you just hate the discovery institute? I know I do, and not because it’s a religious group (and it is a religious group). The reason I hate the discovery institute is for one simple reason… they are lying scum!

You may think that this sounds like a harsh appraisal, however, if you take the time to actually read through their literature you will see what I mean. The so called scientific papers published by this group contain so many falsities and mis-truths that I can’t help but to call them liars.

For example the articles below (I would check out the PDF and read the whole thing) are a revision of the work done by Jonathan Wells (a man who is quoted as having said that destroying Darwinism was his motive for gaining a PhD in biology) using Wells’ original “grading system.”

Essentially the guy wanted to grade descriptions/images of evidence supporting evolution, which is fine; in science we are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating our work to make sure it is up to date and accurate in lines with all known information, however, unlike Wells we do not make up our own grading system to fit in with our own beliefs (if you didn’t already spot this go back and take another look at the “Icons of Evolution Explained”).

Here is where the truth of the discovery institute lies, Wells’ paper back in 2000 was rejected by the scientific community, why? Because it doesn’t follow the scientific method, so doesn’t pass peer review. If Wells’ original paper was rejected why is it still being used as a basis for Luskin’s paper? Quite simple; the discovery institute publish their own journals without need for rigorous peer review in an attempt to smear genuine science. This is why I call them lying scum.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Top Religious Arguments

I have decided to make a list of 10 major arguments that are often raised by religious apologists in a theological debate, and then attempt to smash all of them into the ground one at a time...sound fun right? :)
I suppose the first stage of this would be compiling the list, for this I'm going to need anyone who actually reads my inane ramblings and my friends over at Think Atheist (if you're not a member sign up now! the links over on the right of your screen) to feed me the top 10 arguments you have received online or face to face so c'mon guys give me your best shot!

Church Army...Seriously WTF?

On a regular basis walking to work I pass a building with "Church Army" emblazoned on the building, I'll be honest this scares the living shit out of me! I immediately get the image of lunatic fundies charging at me automatic weapons (bible verses scrawled on the barrels) blazing. Of course this is mostly just paranoia (I've checked out their website and for an evangelical church they actually seem pretty laid back) but you really have to wonder about a supposedly peaceful organisation that puts "army" right there in the title!

Kissing Hank's Ass

All conceptual rights belong to James Huber:

Just because...

Just what are you so bothered about?

I often in times of boredom find myself perusing creation "science" or "news" websites, usually just so I can laugh myself silly at their attempts to disprove science by using their own "science". Today I just happened to stumble upon the below article by Kenneth P. Green and Hiwa Alaghebandian titled "Science turns Authoritarian":

Go on, take a quick read, trust me it's worth it! Essentially the authors of this idiocy seem to think that science is losing it's credibility due to demanding statements in published articles. I think the thing that stands out above all else (except maybe their fantastic Excel graph) is the fact that their are no figures anywhere to be seen; tell me guys where does your research show that science is losing credibility?

Apart from the above there are just so many holes I can punch through this page, such as the fact that the "statements" they have collated have no context whatsoever, my assumption is that most of those statements were directed at the research itself or towards those in the field of research i.e. science dictates that we follow process X, Y and Z which of course is in no way authoritarian or demanding.

In general I see the findings in this article to be, for lack of a better word, pathetic. Even if statements in articles were becoming more demanding in their wording, maybe that's because the studies were looking into what we need to achieve to change certain outcomes, in this eventuality a demanding statement is not only fair but required.

At the end of it all my question for the authors is why do you care? What is your article trying to achieve? In my opinion this quote sums up the article:
"you must change your life in this way, that way, or the other way.” I believe the authors of this article are trying to make out that scientists are attempting to manipulate everyone's way of life, trying to make out that science is a deplorable, but most of all trying to make out that science is failing and people are losing their trust in it.
I are deceiving yourselves!

Zach Wahls speaks out about same sex marriage

Fantastic speech by 19 year old Zach Wahls.

How it all began

This is just a bit of a bio about me and how I found atheism. I was raised in a very religious family with a devout catholic mother and a church of England father and up until about the age of 9 I was a devout christian. I used to pray at least once a day, I would often be found hidden away in my room reading bible stories. You might be asking what changed? It's quite simple really, I read the bible; not my favourite passages or stories, the whole thing, cover to cover.

If you are a christian, questioning your faith or not, I would advise doing this. if you read the bible and analyse it's content, the fallacies and contradictions begin to scream at you. Once the thought implants itself in your mind that maybe, just maybe the texts are wrong it's like a snowball starting an avalanche.

Once I reached the age of 12 and started studying science in depth at school I found something I truly loved...biology! From my very first lesson I knew I was hooked, I started reading anything and everything I could get my hands on, I took the subject through college and then at university, I found something that explained life in a way the bible and an invisible man in the sky never could. I'll often hear religious apologists saying how there is such beauty in the religious world view but I beg to differ; there is far more beauty in nature; from the transduction of electro-chemical signals via neurons to those four tiny base pairs which form all life on this planet...truly beautiful!

I think I would have been perfectly happy to sit quietly let others believe what they wanted without causing any fuss until one day posting on a forum site I saw a post from a 12 year old girl. This post declared (in extremely bad grammar) that anyone who sought medical treatment for anything would burn in hell, followed by very lengthy ramblings about men violating god's will. This medieval thinking that had been imposed on this young girl infuriated me, it was then I discovered more about creationism and fundamentalist sects of christianity; this is when I became an "angry atheist" and this is why I started this blog.