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The weirdification of the perfectly fucking ordinary

Oh, man. This is a scientist. He wrote an article skeptical of global warning.

What does the BBC think you need to know about this today? Well, dude has the crazy eye. And he’s a “committed Christian” (check the caption). Yes, it’s as perfectly irrelevant as you think.

Byron York had a thing yesterday about Leftists trying to make the 2012 presidential election all about religion. Well, Christianity. Well, some creepy zombie Jesus conspiracy caricature of Christianity.

Me, I’ve got a head start on this one. The BBC has been working on this fucked up view of American religious life for as long as I’ve been coming over here.

I’ll never forget a BBC TV special I saw on one of my first trips, about religious life in America. Somehow, they managed to find video of a Texan female achondroplastic dwarf preacher standing on a chair blowing a shofar.

Google it. I’m too weary to explain.

Oh, and this one! Remember when Trijicon, the gunsight maker, ‘fessed up that they’d been inscribing their products with Bible verses (things like 2COR4:6) and had done for years? Not a good idea for an internationally traded company, but whatever. How did the media describe this?

U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret ‘Jesus’ Bible Codes.

Military weapons. Secret Jesus Bible codes. Since when did ordinary old Bible verses become secret Jesus Bible codes? What breathless bullshit is this?

Now, as you may (or may not) remember, I’m an atheist. Pretty much. An atheist with smartypants tendencies. There is a point with most religions — that point where “take it on evidence” becomes “take it on faith” — that the whole business becomes creepy and off-putting to me.

But to pretend there’s something uniquely creepy and off-putting about American Protestant Christians as compared to any other religious group…well, that totally plinks my sense of fair play.

Put it this way: how many times did the media try to pin down Nancy Pelosi or John Kerry on the magical power of Jesus’ foreskin or the little toebone of some saint?

Yeah. Not.


Comment from dawn
Time: September 2, 2011, 11:23 pm

amen 🙂

Comment from Tesla
Time: September 3, 2011, 12:16 am

Amen, Dawn? Why not awomyn? Or aperson? And after the BBC has finished spewing fertilizer you could say ahole.

Comment from Man Mountain Molehill
Time: September 3, 2011, 12:29 am

What you said. I’ve been an atheist since kidhood, but I’ve seen societies based on Christianity, and ones that aren’t. I’ll take the god-botherers.

btw Simon Conway Morris is a committed Christian, and an evolutionary biologist. And British, wonder what the BBC makes of that?

I’d rather have Christian neighbors than NY liberal ones.

Comment from Machelo
Time: September 3, 2011, 12:50 am

You need weapons to fight your immigrants.
Machelo shall provide.

Comment from Deborah
Time: September 3, 2011, 2:23 am

My observation: the reason the media never went after John Kerry (who attended a church pastored by a excommunicated priest), or Nancy Pelosi is because, despite their magnificent confessions of belief, they were nevertheless disbelieved by the media. Their “walk” did not match the “talk.” Instead of being cited for their hypocrisy, the media were greatly relieved, assured that Kerry and Pelosi’s “faith” would never get in the way of a liberal agenda.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: September 3, 2011, 3:11 am

Powerline had a great series of questions news guys should be asking Kieth Ellison the muslim congressman.

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 3, 2011, 3:22 am

I think it is a bit of a shame that the Nazis didn’t win. Least they cared about racial purity, and didn’t leave the countryside littered in bubble gum wrappers.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 3, 2011, 3:50 am

Of COURSE they didn’t leave bubblegum wrappers, snapperhead. The NAZIs never developed bubblegum….

THAT came after we whupped their asses.

BTW, hows your ewe?

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: September 3, 2011, 4:59 am

Scubafreak: ya know who did invent chewing gum, or at least brought it to the U.S. and the rest of the world?

Santa Anna. That’s right, the Mexican dictator/president, who in one of his many periods of being out of power was an exile in NYC. While there, he initiated the importation of Mexican chicle and its sale as a substitute for chewing tobacco.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 3, 2011, 5:21 am

Well Rick, Score one for Ol’ Mexico.

(ok, where’s my f*ing Sombrero….) 😉

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 3, 2011, 6:18 am

Well you could google ‘goy goats’ to find out more about what we are up to with trans-human-hybrid sheep ….

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 3, 2011, 10:42 am

My blog is very weird.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 3, 2011, 11:04 am

I wonder why?

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 3, 2011, 11:38 am

Perhaps you are indeed lucky then to be keeping such excellent company? 🙂

It is a bit like those religous people in Californian claiming the primary cilium as proof of the existence of God? I suspect that God just got lazy … after all … In Dog We Trust.

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 3, 2011, 12:24 pm

One of the more interesting technologies under development here is an effort to protect our Nations Intellectual Policy with respect to livestock. With a touch of ‘nuclear tweaking’ we have been able to re-organise the spatial markers for the positioning of chromosomes*, rendering re-engineered cells able to undergo meiotic and mitotic division … however they cannot be crossed with the original species as there is a mismatch, rendering the zygote non-viable upon fertilsation.

We believe that this may also be applied eventually to people, rendering a new species of humans unable to breed with the inferior ‘great unwashed’.

Our Sino partners have developed a vaccine to restore altered ‘homosexual’ mice back to being straight. Of course you might be interested how they turned them ‘gay’ in the first place … imagine how much fun ‘social scientists’ would have anal-ising a plague of homosexulaity? Mind, that’s what San Francisco is already …. 🙂

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 3, 2011, 1:46 pm

Sigh, 15 comments and 5 of them by Oceania. I hate it when the post is slow and his medication doesn’t arrive.

What DO we do about a problem like Maria, et al?


Comment from Deborah
Time: September 3, 2011, 2:05 pm

Christopher Taylor—I’m reading your book! Splendid story.
(hi Stoaty)

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: September 3, 2011, 3:47 pm

First off: God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent; as someone (I think Heinlein) noted, it says so right there on the label. One would have to imagine that if a Being possessed of those qualities set out to Create something, He could be relied upon to get it “right”, i.e., precisely the way He wanted it.

I’m ‘way too fat a target for return fire to cast aspersions at any particular individual, but it has been my observation over the years that the common denominator for The Devout, especially the vocally and publicly Devout, is a firm conviction that the Creator got some aspect of the creation wrong, usually an aspect that affects the personal power, privilege, and/or personal predilections of the one doing the preaching. This is especially true of the devout atheist. There are few, if any, better demonstrations of the adage “the converted Moor eats pork three times a day” than a recent convert to atheism from, say, Catholicism or evangelical Protestantism.

A scientist’s job is to document and codify what is for the edification and possible use of others. There is no barrier to a scientist’s religious belief, provided that he or she acknowledges that God got it right, that what was Created is the ultimate expression of God’s will, and therefore that the Creation trumps any and all prophecy and/or doctrine. If it says so in the Book but it ain’t so in the Creation, the Book is wrong — perhaps the writer(s) misunderstood what the angel told them.


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 3, 2011, 6:16 pm

I had never heard that Simon Conway Morris was a Christian. Score! Three cheers for the Christian scientists. No, not Christian Scientists, but Christians who are scientists too. Like me. And, apparently, Simon Conway Morris. 🙂

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: September 3, 2011, 7:45 pm

Well stoaty, Looks like you’ve finally been rated for human trolls now. Congrats. =_= Anyway, your post is dead on. The liberals are nuts. The end.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: September 3, 2011, 9:58 pm

One of the worst graduate school physics classes I had was taught by an admittedly brilliant professor, quite religious, who out of the classroom was attempting to prove the existence of God using String Theory. Yes, really. Many scientists are religious, actually, but they tend to have watertight compartments between religion and science, or cheerfully admit that “God got it right” or that studying reality is a form of worship. My professor was down in the bilge with a jackhammer trying to open up the bulkheads …

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 3, 2011, 11:30 pm

Yeah, Ric, it was Heinlein, who also pointed out that “One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh.”

I’m with Weez on this one; been an atheist my entire adult life. There may be a god, or gods, for that matter, but I doubt He, She, They, or It really give a shit about being adored (or even acknowledged) by the creations of Same.

That said, I admit that many people need an Other to regulate their actions. Long as it keeps them out of my pocket and my bedroom, bueno. Would that liberals could be so non-intrusive.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 4, 2011, 12:02 am

jwpaine–well, sure. I think that was Ric’s point, as mediated for non-believers. If you believe in a deity, then (read the entire RicLocke post); if you don’t believe in a deity, then you can ignore any claim in which the cited authority is received religious revelation. There is no reason the believer can’t be a scientific inquirer, as deity–by hypothesis and definition–must welcome inquiry.

Um. Disclaimer. I attempted, for a number of years, to be a believer in a deity. I was unsuccessful and, after considerable careful consideration, realized I was not a believer in a deity. I have never been able to see any reason to object to those who are. . .they don’t harm me unless they are actively targeting me as an unbeliever; at that point, yeah, I’d object, but not because they are believers.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: September 4, 2011, 12:56 am

What these folks don’t understand is something a lot of atheists don’t: everyone has faith in things around them, and everyone has places where their reason stops and they go on hope and revelation. Does your spouse love you? There’s no logical or scientific test, you trust them and what you learn from how they behave and how you feel. Will your car start? No way of knowing until you try, but you have faith it will when you turn the key. Life is full of this kind of thing, its just a matter of recognizing it, which too many refuse to even consider.

The most pathetic of sorts is the kind that never even takes the time to even consider it.

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: September 4, 2011, 1:24 am

Not enough data to make up my mind about the existence of a deity. I may find out eventually, and then again I may not.
Oh and when I hear some was is “committed” I wonder when the little men in white coats came and took him away…..

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 4, 2011, 3:41 am

I would be more concerned with the Sub-Sahara Sub-human blacks in your society.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: September 4, 2011, 3:42 am

Well, from my side atheism looks a lot like a belief. You just don’t get the cool singalongs and Church suppers 🙂


Comment from Oceania
Time: September 4, 2011, 5:44 am

Talking of Abominations. History will be re-written to suit the needs of fat cat execs and tub-o-lard actors.


I remember flying over McMurdo on one of our infrequent trips …. as it was sort of off limits due to the nasty Americans getting bitchy over our anti-nuclear policy … it still is incidently – given that it is located on the patch of ice that we own. Down below we spotted a Dozer that had been pushed into the Amerikan waste dump. One of the lads asked why they dumped it there – to be told that it broke and no one could fix it.
Winter came around, and being bored one morning/day/evening/night we decided we needed to stretch our legs after discussing the sheer waste that the Yanks would needlessly throw out. We could supply our entire Antarctic needs – and then some – from their volumous waste alone. Taking some tools, and transport we roared off into the night and over the hill, with our lights off … the Americans could hear us coming … but were not sure what was going on. We were pissing ourselves laughing imagining the mayhem going on with the Americans being alerted to our presence ‘Who the hell is in our rubbish dump?’ would have gone through their minds, and up the food chain.

All we had to do was slip in some new batteries, and clean the injectors, check cooling – bingo! A few cranks … and it started!

We roared off into the darkness with our near new ‘recycled asset’ that no one had wanted!

A few days later we received a radio-telephone call from some fancy military commander asking if we were anywhere near the base dump – ‘no, we were all tucked up warmly inside.’ … then his ‘demeanour’ cracked and he must have lost it crackling spittle into the mouthpiece demanding that we return the dozer that we had stolen.

What dozer? 🙂 🙂

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 4, 2011, 8:57 am

Hey scube – it’s here!

Increase in radiation levels here from average 0.17 per hour to 0.19 per hour here … curious.

Radiation reports with same equipment in South Korea record 0.55 per hour, with extended peaks of up to 1.88 …. which is more serious.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: September 4, 2011, 11:13 am

“And he’s a “committed Christian” (check the caption).”

That caption is a scream! ‘Doctor Spencer is a committed Christian as well as a professional scientist.’ The subtext is clearly ‘THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!! *BRAIN EXPLODES*’

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 4, 2011, 3:09 pm

I was going to say that they’d never, ever say “Dr Lipshitz is a professional scientists as well as an observant Jew” — but then I realized how much the BBC would *love* to be able to print that, but don’t dare.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: September 4, 2011, 3:37 pm

All I remember is that as a child when we celebrated the Feast of the Circumcision, there were never enough toast points to go around.

Comment from Elphaba
Time: September 4, 2011, 3:51 pm

Even Fox News is pissing me off these days. The media will do anything to take the attention away from the real religious crazies: our bruddas and sistas in Islam. Because nothing says tolerance and piety like a good old fashioned beheading or a nice, family-oriented honor killing. Good times.

Comment from beasn
Time: September 4, 2011, 7:22 pm

Think of those places where the Christian God has been banished or not acknowledged or is held in contempt.

If there was no idea of ‘God’, the ‘Golden Rule’, ‘Commandments’ – I could be wrong but came from people of ‘faith’, would our world look the same or worse or better?

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 4, 2011, 7:31 pm

Can’t Hark: I wasn’t disagreeing with Ric, or countering himn; I was affirming his citation and pretty much me-tooing his perspective.

Of course, if he is sub-Saharan and black, all bets are off.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 4, 2011, 7:51 pm

Besides, I don’t think it’s really faith in a deity that is under attack these days so much as any moral code, since the whole idea is to obviate the individual’s judgment as a means of assigning value.

Comment from Deborah
Time: September 4, 2011, 9:51 pm

Not only is Dr. Spencer a Christian, he had the nerve to write a book about economics. And it’s available on Kindle.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 4, 2011, 10:17 pm

One of the bedrock problems with modern liberals: they think you should NOT feel guilty about things you could avoid — like getting knocked up in High School or cheating on your spouse — but you SHOULD feel guilty about things no living organism can avoid, like consuming resources and producing waste.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 4, 2011, 11:05 pm

Exactly so!

Another area that has always amused me is that they love to attack the Europe and the U.S. which have very low pollution levels, while -totally- ignoring the pollution of the Communist countries. I’ll never forget seeing pictures of a town in Romania just after the wall fell. It was factory town with a rubber plant where everyone worked. Everything in the town was black with rubber/soot. Everything. The children, the sheets, the trees(the few which weren’t dead). Everything.

There wasn’t a peep out of the liberals. The same is true about air pollution caused by China and India. At best, the progressives want to save these people from the evils of modern pollution, while leaving them to burn dung, wood, and -if they’re lucky- coal… no pollution there.

I also have a low opinion of the government program which allows pregnant girls as young as 16 welfare and a housing allowance. Somehow I suspect the idea of having your own income and apartment appeals to a lot of young girls.

But a single woman is every bit as capable of raising a family as a dual-income married couple. By the way, as long as I’m ranting… anybody have any statistics on same-sex marriage divorce rates yet?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 4, 2011, 11:44 pm

jwpaine: Ah. I am frequently reminded by the world that I have an insufficiently subtle mind. Sorry to have unleashed it in this case, leaving aside altogether that Ric Locke is in no need of defenders so long as he has himself. All snark withdrawn, with apologies.

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 4, 2011, 11:50 pm

Thank you Deborah,

Now you know that he is the spawn of Satan.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 4, 2011, 11:57 pm

You know, I know I ought to do something about Oceania, but every once in a while…he just cracks me up.

Comment from Christophyer Taylor
Time: September 5, 2011, 12:07 am

Deborah, thanks for the kind words, it was a lot of fun to write.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 5, 2011, 12:10 am

Well, yeah. . .and if one’s sense of humor is sufficiently dry, it is more often than “every once in a while.” I find a good deal of amusement in trying to decide to what degree his personal anecdotes are fantasy (fevered fantasy, I agree) and, as a corollary, in trying to imagine his, pardon me, it’s true personal characteristics. I think I’d miss it if you banished it. Which astonishes me.

(Sigh. Responding to Stoaty, not Christopher Taylor. . .whose book I read with pleasure.)

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: September 5, 2011, 1:10 am

Hark, They breed so fast that another username would replace him soon enough. Can you spray for trolls?

Comment from beasn
Time: September 5, 2011, 3:02 am

Morality. Where does it originate?

Comment from JeffS
Time: September 5, 2011, 3:28 am

I find a good deal of amusement in trying to decide to what degree his personal anecdotes are fantasy

I estimate that around 95% of Oceania’s prose is pure fiction, comes from the tales of others, or some combination there of.

And that 5%? It’s spread out in very small pieces in the dreck, and is rather hard to pick out.

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 5, 2011, 8:13 am


Google Kent Hill at UCLA, and read his papers … he’s done some interesting work on swarming and patterning behaviour of microrganisms.

Morality stems from the basic biological unit …. it is an inherited condition of a social animal.

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 5, 2011, 8:28 am


Have you seen the distance between these two?



Comment from Oceania
Time: September 5, 2011, 12:20 pm

Anyway – as for religion.

I find that knowledge of oneself is of prime importance in any challenge in life. It is character building, and when it comes down to the wire, and you have nothing else left to lose but your life – you can either bargain yourself with an imaginery being in your mind – or you can bust a move yourself.

After all, when you are really fucked – God is all you get.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: September 5, 2011, 1:57 pm

“Morality stems from the basic biological unit…”

Quite true, but being one of the definitional requirements for “a social animal” it’s a platitude of no informational, analytical, or predictive value. The question before us today is when (or whether) human beings should override the morality evolved under quite different social conditions. Animals have no such choice, and must depend on Darwin’s disciples to alter them to fit a new environment. Humans can (if they will) adapt via teaching and learning, which are more nearly Lamarckian in nature. Lamarckian evolution is much faster than Darwinian, when it works.

New Zealanders disobeyed one of the Prime Directives of European settlement by failing to exterminate the Maori. Unfortunately their self-congratulation for such a virtuous act has made them pompously certain of their standing to judge and lecture others on Morality. It gets damned tedious at times.


Comment from Oceania
Time: September 5, 2011, 11:53 pm

I thought that is what your imported locals in Londonstan are doing to the Natives right now – old boy?

Comment from Christophyer Taylor
Time: September 6, 2011, 2:45 am

Morality. Where does it originate?

When a large enough group of people decide something is right or wrong. But what you should be asking is where ethics originate – the overarching structure behind which morality should be structured. Where does actual right and wrong, good and bad originate; morality is just what a bunch of people decide and can be anything.

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 6, 2011, 9:31 am

Morality exists in simple microbees … so where does your explanation exactly work again?

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 6, 2011, 4:30 pm

Morality is not instinctual, nor is it a biological imperative. It is a code governing choices. There is no immorality, per se, in choosing to eat, to breathe, to breed, to survive. The choices a human makes in achieving any of these are, however, subject to moral evaluation. The actions of organisms governed entirely by instinctual flight-or-fight choices are neither moral nor immoral. Is it a moral choice for a drone to die protecting the hive’s queen?

Choice requires judgement; judgement requires perception of value; value is inevitably subjective, or, more succinctly, objective only to the individual making the choice. Humans (as opposed to microorganisms, possums, and carp) have limitless choices in most situations, and consequently, are uniquely in need a set of clarifying guidelines to facilitate those choices–in other words, a moral code.

The problem with most moral codes is that they are an amalgam of actual moral truths and the useless (or even harmful) customs of one’s tribe; the problem with our own culture is that we are increasingly ill-prepared to determine which is which.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 6, 2011, 4:46 pm

jwpaine: The phrase “actual moral truths” suggests that you believe there are moral truths not dependent on the customs of the tribe; where do those truths come from?

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 6, 2011, 5:26 pm

Can’t Hark:

Well (he said, cleverly avoiding the ontological tar-baby), all moral truths derive from the inherent value of a human life. The Golden Rule may be a bromide, but it is a moral truth. Political Correctness, however derivative of The Golden Rule it may be, is tribal nonsense. Judging a man by the color of his skin rather than the content of his character is not immoral, but it is foolish and—ultimately—self-defeating.

I recognize pragmatically that some individuals (many, in fact) require a Law-Giver to promulgate and enforce a moral code, but a Law requiring or prohibiting certain actions removes choice from the equation, thus obviating morality. To my way of thinking, Thou Shalt Not Kill is not a moral truth, but Thou Shalt Not Murder is.

Sorry I’m not sharp enough this morning (or maybe anytime) to provide more explanation and fewer examples.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: September 6, 2011, 6:07 pm

Weasel Said:
One of the bedrock problems with modern liberals: they think you should NOT feel guilty about things you could avoid — like getting knocked up in High School or cheating on your spouse — but you SHOULD feel guilty about things no living organism can avoid, like consuming resources and producing waste.


— Not at all, it is just a way to get you into the street gang. You did bad stuff? Come to us and get moral sanction from the group. Once you are in the group, you define a new sin that everyone commits and the liberals can feel better than all the evil sinners that surround them.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 6, 2011, 6:38 pm

jwpaine: Well, I should have been better behaved than to poke a stick into that particular hornet’s nest, but I have some sort of throat infection which is lowering my resistance to devilish impulses. I don’t think you /can/ avoid the ontological tar baby except, perhaps, in the sense (which may be your point) that each of us must personally determine what are actual moral truths. I don’t think the inherent value of a human life is something on which humanity as a whole could reach agreement; we might each agree that there is some inherent value, but what that value is would be the subject of. . .extensive. . .debate. The Golden Rule is an excellent example–ask ten different people to explain exactly how it works (and start propounding specific situations) and you’ll get a minimum of ten different explanations.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 7, 2011, 1:37 am

Can’t Hark:

Yup, you are spot on. A human life has definite value–to the individual who owns it. Ubangi, German, Inuit, Korean, American, hell, even Limey humans each value their own individual lives. How much others value that life, well, that’s a different story. And the fundamental problem with debating moral or ethical questions is always the underlying philosophy of each opponent.

Incidentally, my apologies for taking so long to respond; I have been AFK for most of the day, traveling to Colorado Springs and back (200 mile round trip for me and the missus). Not fun, but infinitely preferable to a trip to L.A. of the Rockies, er, Denver.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 7, 2011, 2:12 am

jwpaine: Glad you made the trip safely. Sounds like we can let this back-and-forth lapse under its own weight. And, gee, no need for apologies. This is the Internet; even on Stoaty’s blog (granted, a magical place) there are no requirements of response. Allasame, nice of you to think there are!

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 7, 2011, 3:08 pm

Oh, I always mind my manners here at the Weez’s place. That way, I get away with the booger haiku.*

*Kee-rist! I just checked–was that really over three freakin’ years ago? Don’t we have anything better to do?**

** Um, no.

Comment from Christophyer Taylor
Time: September 9, 2011, 3:09 am

a Law requiring or prohibiting certain actions removes choice from the equation, thus obviating morality.

That’s a bizarre theory; laws do not compel behavior nor are they mind control. Your ethical behavior comes from how you respond to laws and situations, not the laws or the situations themselves.

I swear, the knots people tie themselves into in order to avoid the obvious.

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