Pat Robertson gives mixed messages

June 28, 2011

I’m confused here. I thought God was supposed to be destroying the world anyway . And isn’t that supposed to be the great happy ending to Robertson’s fairytale belief? Why is he now suggesting it’s a bad thing?


2010 This Year In Skepticism – January

January 2, 2011

Here is the first part of my look back at the big skeptic-related news stories from last year. I’m just covering last January in this piece but I’ll try to cover more than one month in the next installment.

Yet another well-designed study hit another nail in the coffin of the hypothesis that the MMR vaccine is linked with autism. Then researchers concluded that there was a lack of evidence supporting special diets for autism.

New smart phone apps emerge that debunk creationism

California said no to creationist curriculum

Pat Robertson blamed the Haitian earthquake on a mythical pact the nation never made with the devil–true story–thus earning him a nomination in the douchebag of the year awards.

Vatican Bank accused of laundering $200 million.

Stephen Baldwin said he’d rather see his daughter die than lie about Jesus, earning him a solid nomination in the douchebag of the year awards.

The arrest of the businessman responsible for selling dowsing rods, aka magic wands, as bomb detectors.

UK’s General Medical Council concluded that anti-vaccine prophet Andrew Wakefield acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly.”

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $10 billion to vaccines and Doctors Without Borders vaccinates 2,100 kids against Measles in Pakistan – both were big victories for public health around the world.

Skeptics fail in homeopathy-based suicide attempt – The 1023 campaign sparked a great deal of attention on this little publicity stunt and made homeopathy look incredibly stupid.

Star of Scientology orientation film gives farewell performance – Larry Anderson, an actor and long-time member of $cientology who starred in their orientation film left the cult.

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Pat Robertson: provider of the worst marital advice EVER!

June 15, 2010

News From Around The Blogosphere 1.14.10

January 15, 2010

1. $cientology for a change decides to sue somebody – The cult has launched two separate lawsuits against Sandy Springs, Georgia for alleged discrimination because the city approved the rezoning of their building but denied the the cult’s request to add a fourth floor by enclosing a basement parking garage, saying there wasn’t enough parking.

2. Treating agony with ecstasy – Okay, I had to steal that headline because there was just no way I was going to top it. In the first FDA-approved trial evaluating the use of the street drug ecstasy for therapeutic applications, it proved very successful at treating PTSD.

3. Male chromosome’s rapid evolution – The Y chromosome, known for making men men, is evolving far faster than the rest of the human genetic code:

A new study comparing the Y chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees, our nearest living relatives, show that they are about 30 percent different. That is far greater than the 2 percent difference between the rest of the human genetic code and that of the chimp’s, according to a study appearing online Wednesday in the journal Nature.These changes occurred in the last 6 million years or so, relatively recently when it comes to evolution.

And for those keeping track, that’s 5,994,000 years before the existence of the whole universe, according to Young Earth Creationists.

4. Debunking creationism? There’s an app for that – A new smartphone app provides users with refutations to all the creationist arguments.

5. Pat Robertson finally getting heat from fellow Christians – It’s about damned time!


Support Haiti

January 14, 2010

By now I’m sure everyone knows about the disasterous earthquake that is still causing many casualties. And I’m sure some of you would like to know how you can help.

Well the folks at The Intersection have been good enough to provide a great list of links to organizations who are helping in the aftermath that need your support:

American Red Cross International Response Fund
AmeriCares Help For Haiti
Direct Relief International
Doctors without Borders
HaitiArise
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
Mercy Corps
Oxfam
UNICEF
Yele Haiti

I know times are tough and we’re all suffering from our own economic disaster, but anything you can donate to these organizations in this time of crisis in Haiti will help make a real difference. . .

. . .unlike Pat Robertson’s response to this disaster. According to Robertson, this is a “blessing in disguise” and blames the quake on a Haiti’s deal with the devil:


News From Around The Blogosphere 10.30.09

October 30, 2009

Fuck you!

1. Samali officials arrest and publicly whip woman for wearing a bra

They announced clearly that wearing these bras was unIslamic because it is a form of fraud and deception.

2. The Fourth Kind:  based on a true story? – At least that’s what filmmakers would have us believe. It seems as though the “true story” the film is allegedly based on is probably not even based on a real account but more likely was just extra content created for an internet viral marketing campaign.

3. Maine voters, on Tuesday Vote NO on 1 – This is Maine’s version of Prop 8 to stop marriage equality.

4. Antioxidants may be the key to defeating all strains of flu – Suck it, Mercola!

5. Iraqi man who ran down daugher is caught – I blogged about this story last week. Glad to hear this douchebag, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, was caught.

6. Pat Robertson’s warning us about the demons in our Holloween candy – No, seriously. He really is and he’s not kidding.


News From Around The Blogosphere 9.1.09

September 1, 2009

1. Pat Robertson thanks God for his surgery. . .and even remembers to thank the doctors. . .barely – Pat Robertson has apparently undergone heart surgery. Here’s a particularly telling quote:

Robertson said, “Only the prayers of thousands of believing people kept me on this earth. As it is, I anticipate many more years of creative service in the ministry I founded (CBN), as well as Regent University and other endeavors devoted to the service of mankind. I cannot praise enough the dedication and professionalism of Dr. Andy Kiser and his staff who removed this growth from my continuously beating heart.”

Prayer healed him. . .and doctors using cutting edge 21st century medical equipment. . .but mostly it was the prayer. But if God was at play, what did God need with a doctor? Why did Robertson even see a doctor? Brain confused.

No, Im not the missing link

No, I'm not the missing link

2. Ken Ham:  Master of unintentional irony – Ham, who’s responsible for that embarrassment known as the Creation “Museum”, visited a Buddhist temple in Japan. Here’s his reaction:

I took photographs of a couple of their “gods” — I notice they were not very powerful, as they couldn’t even get out past the netting wire that “protected” them!

It was so sad to see people praying to the “god” behind the curtain — what a reminder they need the gospel to free them from the bondage of this false religion that gives them no hope for the future!

Yes, Ham. It is indeed sad to see people praying to invisible gods behind metaphorical curtains. And yes, it’s a reminder they need to be freed from the bondage of religion that gives them no hope for the future. Pot. Kettle. Black.

3. Article in Evolution: Education and Outreach looks at why state science standards are important and how particular states measure up.

4. Greta Christina explains why calling Congress isn’t a waste of time – Part 1 and Part 2.

Note:  Due to linking problems, I’ll just have to copy the URL of the second part below:

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2009/09/calling-congress-2.html


Sex with Ducks

June 1, 2009

This is the most excellent response to anti-gay bigots’ preposterous arguments I’ve seen in a while:


Atheist News 5.5.09

May 5, 2009

Since there were a few atheist-related news stories I wanted to blog about, I just decided to compile them in one blog.

First up, the Indiana bus company, Bloomington Transit, rejected the planned athvertising for their buses. They cited the “too controversial” clause. Of course there was absolutely nothing wrong with the ad. See for yourself:

This is “too controversial?” But the Indiana Atheists are not giving up:

Today the ACLU of Indiana, on behalf of the campaign, is filing a lawsuit against Bloomington Transit on First Amendment grounds. No campaign donations will be spent on the suit.

Here is the filed complaint (PDF, 172 KB)

Next up, Pat Robertson gives relationship advice:

And finally, it seems that in Indonesia, atheists are not even recognized:

All couples who marry in Indonesia must declare a religion. Agnosticism and Atheism are not recognized. The Civil Registry Office can record marriages of persons of Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian-Protestant and Christian-Catholic faiths. Marriage partners must have the same religion; otherwise one partner must make a written declaration of a change of religion.

That’s it. The wedding’s off. Cancel the caterers.


Bad Predictions from the past

January 6, 2009

Well it’s that time of year again, folks. This is when every “psychic” crawls out from under the rock they came from to make predictions about the coming year. These predictions tend to be a combination of guessing events likely to happen, longshot guesses that will look particularly impressive if they happen to occur, doomsaying that usually involves the economy going down because that’s usually a sure thing, and really fantastical mystical or science fictiony guesses that have no chance of happening. I don’t know why anyone bothers with the last category. Then there’s the classic trick of making the same plausible prediction each year so that it’s likely to come true eventually. For instance, if you predict that Lindsey Lohan will get pregnant every year it probably won’t be long before it comes true.

Oh, and the last trick that’s employed by some of the more famous “psychics” is to simply go in and edit their own pages to retrofit predictions to seem more remarkably accurate and more specific  than you remember their predictions being when they were first made. For instance, it’d be kind of weird if you saw a famous “psychic’s” predictions for 2008 include the passing of young Heath Ledger–seems like the kind of unlikely prediction you would have remembered, right? Of course some people will have the audacity of screen saving their predictions so they can compare their pages then and now.

Here’s a short recap at some of the epic fails of predictors for the past year.

Here’s a look at one mystic’s predictions published in the New York Times back in 1909 about the year 2009.

Then of course there’s Pat Robertson, who apparently gets text messages from God himself every January that foretell the events of the coming year. . .very inaccurately. Of course the big trick is to highlight the hits while ignoring all the misses and when foretelling doom that never occurs just saying that God changed his mind because people prayed so hard.

Here’s Pat Robertson’s predictions for this coming year:

Now last year I made a blog on my Myspace page addressing the “psychic” predictions made of the previous year and made my own list of “psychic” predictions to see if I could outdo the “psychics.” I plan to do this again in the next few days but here I’d like to repost my old blog from last year unedited except that I will put the predictions I got right or close to right in BOLD along with some possible comments in parentheses. So here we go:

—————————————————–

From January 20, 2008:

Predictions for 2008

Well, it’s the beginning of a new year, and you know what that means. Yup, all the psychics and evangelical nuts are making their amazing predictions for the events that will unfold in the coming year, a remarkable number of which will oddly require no psychic powers at all.

Here are some of the psychics who have predictions already out there:
The Psychic Twins (Seems like these predictions are A LOT MORE SPECIFIC than I remember them being back in January. Hmm, how strange? And really, really accurate. What are the odds??)

Nikki Psychic To The Stars (includes her past years predictions!)

Sylvia Browne:

Of course, then there’s Pat Robertson

Wow, it’s a good thing God stopped last year’s terrorist attack or else one might have thought Robertson was WRONG about a prediction that seemed like a fairly likely possibility to those who don’t receive text messages from God but simply read the news, you know, not like this year’s prediction of a worsening economy. I mean, what are the odds of that under President Bush, right? Right?

For more about the psychics making predictions about the coming year, see: The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe Podcast (1/2/08 episode)

But those psychics don’t know what they’re talking about, so I’m going to reveal what will REALLY HAPPEN IN 2008:

-Jesus will not return in 2008, leading hundreds of millions of Christians to wait longer.  (Point for me)
-But guess who will return in 2008–that’s right. Van Halen featuring one of their previous singers. (Okay, I think it was Guns N Roses. Close enough, right?)
-The U.S. economy will get worse. (Point for me)
-The troops will not return from Iraq in 2008, but The Bush Administration will proudly announce that we’re winning…though not enough to bring the troops home..
(Point for me)
-Brittney Spears will trade in her mild Texan Chistianity and her Kabbalah bracelet and will “really” find Jesus. (Doh!)
-Paris Hilton will also join a cult/religion and begin serving as an activist for the group. (Okay, she didn’t join a cult but she was sort of involved in activism. Anyone else remember that anti-McCain commercial she did?)
-Ron Paul will make a 45-minute speech that only includes the words “Freedom” and “Constitution.” (I’m sure this is true. Just the media didn’t care enough to cover it)
–Hilary Clinton will be elected the 44th president of the U.S. (Doh!)
-The Church of Scientology will sue somebody. (Did I nail it or what?)
-A single suicide bomber will kill hundreds in the Middle East. (Okay, it wasn’t hundreds because God decided to spare a lot of people)
-The Bush Administration will be involved in a major scandal.  (Goes without saying)
-No evidence that 9/11 was an inside job will surface.
-After decades of investigation, Dr. Stanton Friedman will still fail to provide physical evidence that extraterrestrials crashed in Roswell, New Mexico.
-The terrorist attack Pat Robertson predicted in 2007 will not occur in 2008 either.

-The ghosts that talk to John Edwards will continue to feed him mostly bad information. (Another point for me)
-The New York Yankees will win The World Series. (Doh!)
-Lance Armstrong will run in The New York City Marathon and beat last year’s time.
(Doh!)
-David and Victoria Beckham will get divorced.(Doh!)

-Lindsey Lohan will get a DWI and star in a reality TV series called “Lohen Behold.” (Okay, she didn’t have a reality show but her family did, so I was damned close)
-Jupiter will be in line with Mars and the Sun will be perpendicular to the Moon.
Uri Geller will prove his psychic abilities by having someone secretly choose one of five shapes and correctly predicting that they’ve selected the Star in the second position in the list.
-Ben Stein’s mockumentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” will win a Razzie Award. (Time will tell, but it was certainly panned by critics)
-Archaeologists will unearth the fossil remains of over a dozen new species. Creationists will ignore these finds.
-Jack Thompson will attribute a school shooting to videogame violence (Another point for me)

-February will have a 29th day. (Another point for me)

-“Indiana Jones and The Temple of the Crystal Skull” will break box office records in its opening weekend. (Doh!)

-An evangelical will claim that the end of the world is happening this year and will provide an exact date. The next day, when the world hasn’t ended, he’ll inform us that God saved us because of our faith. He’ll then sheepishly stop talking about it.
-I won’t pay my exorcist and will be repossessed.
-And the Writer’s Strike will prevent this Oracle from finishing his predictions for the year of