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Comments by Phen

Go to: Translating the British

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Phen

Comment 3 by Schrodinger's Cat :

The problem I have with the Olympics....indeed sport in that I don't see in what sense any of the sports persons are playing for me. It doesn't affect my life one iota if 'Team GB' win or lose.

The only time I feel comfortable supporting a team is the local gaelic football team, as many of my friends and neighbours are on the playing, and there is a genuine wish for success. Regarding the Olympics, they have taken on a ridiculously nationalistic theme, with National tables popping up everywhere. They are a celebration of individual talent, I'd like it to return towards that direction.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 22:33:18 UTC | #950699

Go to: In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Phen

I was just getting into a good mood. This is terrible news, I guess I was hoping against hope and logic for a remarkable recovery. At least he lived an amazing life, and helped countless people with his writings and lectures, even if it was cut short.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 06:27:56 UTC | #899439

Go to: Can theists be convinced by reason?

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Phen

In my experience, there is no point in picking fights with these people. My family and several friends are very religious, and now I completely avoid any conversation related to religion or mysticism. When I do become engaged in these discussions I stand my ground and calmly make rational points. This results in lots of screaming and banging of doors. They've said they'd prefer me to be an idiot and believe than be an atheist. So what can we do? Its as pointless as a freezer in the arctic.

Sat, 10 Dec 2011 04:52:48 UTC | #897389

Go to: Saudis sentence Australian man to 500 lashes for blasphemy

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Phen

Is that all we can do? Plead for sanity from the insane? I'll never get my head around the levels of cruelty and hypocracy that grips the middle east.

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 19:03:36 UTC | #897211

Go to: Newest alien planet is just the right temperature for life

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by Phen

The possibility of some sort of sustainable planet-like ship shouldn't be overlooked, some visionaries are already looking at it as a reprieve from overcrowding on Earth. Whether interstellar travel is possible or not, surely humanity must strive to achieve it? Extinction will be our ultimate fate eventually, however I fear our decline will begin when we lose our urge to explore even the most extreme and remote locations. However, we've got smaller fish to fry right now, the Jovian moons!

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 05:37:43 UTC | #896999

Go to: Another example of Americans not understanding basic science

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Phen

Comment 2 by The most dangerous man in Britian :

As for not understanding basic science, wasn't it Britain where a poll discovered that 18 percent of the population thinks it takes one month for Earth to orbit the sun. And 28 percent think the earliest humans coexisted with dinosaurs (similar figures for Europe, too).


That reminds me of when a 15 year old kid asked me the serious question of why Australians don't fall off the Earth! Then again, the science teachers in the local (Catholic) school were athrotious. I mean, some students were unaware of the concept of gravity.

Thu, 08 Dec 2011 18:09:50 UTC | #896824

Go to: First dogs came from Asia

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Phen

Comment 8 by Ignorant Amos :

"Much of the domestication of the dog was self-domestication, mediated by natural, not artificial, selection." "......natural selection had already sculpted wolves into self-domesticated 'village dogs' without human intervention. Only later did humans adopt these village dogs and transmogrify them, separately and comprehensively, into the rainbow spectrum of breeds...." The Greatest Show on Earth, page 28 & 71, by Richard Dawkins. There is much more on the dog excellent read for those who have not yet had the privilege, although there can't be too many of those types reading this comment.

Fantastic book, one of my favorites. I tried to get my mother to read it, but no, it's BLASPHEMOUS!

And Comment 10, since when are dogs omnivores? Just because they occasionally chew on grass doesn't make them omnivores.

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 14:47:32 UTC | #892793

Go to: Animals with a built-in self-destruct mechanism

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Phen

Well, assuming that the octopus' are simply incapable of reproducing a second time, for whatever reason, wouldn't the creatures that died quickly after reproducion give a distinct advantage to their young due to the lack of competition with fully grown adults? I also wonder what would happen if a parent encountered its own young, would it recognise it? Perhaps they would kill and eat them, unaware that its from their own spawn?

Tue, 22 Nov 2011 15:11:00 UTC | #892308

Go to: Journey to the Exoplanets iPad app (preview)

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Phen

Looks cool, now all I need is an iPad. Celestia will do me just fine until then though.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 14:42:30 UTC | #874422

Go to: "Ark Man" tours the UK - skeptic action needed!

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Phen

Comment 6 by Thunderballs :

What slogans would be appropriate for protest signs ?

Suggestions below please ....

Remember the target audience ofc !!

"Down with this sort of thing"

"Careful now"

Tue, 13 Sep 2011 12:13:23 UTC | #870249

Go to: Thank God

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by Phen

Comment 31 by El Kabong :

I've often wondered what is the converse of a "miracle" each time I see this term used in the media -- a "smiting", perhaps? Whatever the word, it would refer to some random act of cruelty to a completely undeserving person by a thoroughly uncaring or bloody-minded deity.

And what if someone manages to survive the smiting? It's a miracle! This Minor Vidal bloke was both smited and miraculously saved in the space of a few days. God must be bipolar.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 14:35:03 UTC | #869783

Go to: Thank God

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Phen

Well I think for most, if not all religious people, the existence of god is fact and anyone he chooses to save from an accident is lucky, or 'chosen' to do his work or whatever. Similarly, when people find out I'm an atheist the first question I'm asked is "Why don't I believe in god?". To you and me that's a bizarre question similar to "Why don't you believe platform 9 3/4 exists?", but in reality it only goes to show how they take it as undeniable fact that this god fella exists. Still, surely the rescuers deserve at least some credit?

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:59:29 UTC | #869728

Go to: Ricky Gervais on cover of Sept/Oct issue of New Humanist – on sale 25 August

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Phen

I'm a big Gervais fan myself, very funny guy. His "Animals"* show bible lesson was when my first encounter with him. Anyone know if New Humanist is available in Irish stores?

*Sorry if it's not great quality, it's not easy to find.(or maybe it is, but I just haven't looked hard enough. Either way, stop complaining dammit!)

Thu, 25 Aug 2011 12:55:36 UTC | #864105

Go to: A Fox News Science Lesson

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 94 by Phen

This is funnier than anything The Onion can come up with.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 17:39:10 UTC | #860131

Go to: William Lane Craig - for children

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Phen

There just isn't anything out there that I know of for helping pre-teens learn the rational grounds for their faith

Sentences like this really sicken me, I mean pre-teens? Plus, it likely damages their future ability to think rationally, if this BS is taught as rational thinking. The dumbing down of kids has always played an important role in the indoctrination process. It's really horrible and ironic to think that a childs intellect must be toned down for them to be 'educated'.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 12:42:22 UTC | #859662

Go to: Article: Earth's Stabilizing Moon May Be Unique Within Universe

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Phen

Well I was under the impression that our moon was very rare, so to me the claim that 8% of planets could have similar moons is an enormous figure. That would be about 16 billion planets in our galaxy alone. However, as has been pointed out several times, this article seems to fall below scientific standards.

Sat, 30 Jul 2011 14:10:29 UTC | #855835

Go to: Polar Bear Origins Traced to a Single Bear

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by Phen

Anyone know what colour these bears offspring would be? Would there be one dominant gene or would the result be an in between colour?

Sat, 09 Jul 2011 03:57:09 UTC | #847871

Go to: Worlds Oceans on the brink of "unprecedented extinction"

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Phen

Comment 18 by AtheistEgbert :

What's important is what is true, not whether wishful thinking makes us doomed or saved.

That's true, but it's hard to get that point across when you're surrounded by wishful and irrational thinkers, who think of logical thinking like a disowned drug dealing cousin. You don't have to be a great thinker to see the problem, but you do have to be a relatively competent one.

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 14:43:55 UTC | #641703

Go to: A pack of lies about Darwin.

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Phen

but evolutionary theory plus his musings about superior and inferior races provided a logical justification for anti-Semites and racists.

I know that it's pretty obvious from reading the piece that this is the ramblings of a hate filled IDiot, but still, how could he infer that evolutionary theory provides a logical justification for anti-Semites and racists? I mean, that doesn't make any sense at all.

A quick Wikipedia search reveals that apparently:

Olasky edited the 16-book Turning Point Christian Worldview series funded by Howard Ahmanson, Jr.'s Fieldstead Institute, which champions and funds the cause of "total integration of Biblical law into our lives."

Well that reveals a lot about the man.

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 15:55:59 UTC | #640053

Go to: Motivation to kill

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Phen

Terrorism; The act of murder and/or destruction, almost exclusively influenced by a particular religious doctrine.

That's what I think of when I hear the word terrorism, so it would be terrible if this guy got away with something like conspiracy to kill. It really amazes me how some fundamentalists are blinded to their own hypocrisy. I'd be interested to know what the general consensus is among the religious locals, are people disturbed by these occurrences dispite their disagreements or is this guy regarded as a martyr?

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 11:35:51 UTC | #634654

Go to: Pro Bono lawyers to prosecute faith based injustices?

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Phen

Comment 3 by raytoman :

Sarah Palin may well become President of the US

I was just about to go to sleep when I read that. Let the nightmares commence.

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 02:11:40 UTC | #633094

Go to: Why there is almost certainly no god

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Phen

The Rapture begins today(at 6pm), but I don't think the world ends until October 21st. So, comment away I suppose.

Sat, 21 May 2011 12:34:38 UTC | #629161

Go to: Should ID be taught as science? Michael Behe vs. Stephen Barr

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Phen

If ID was considered a scientific hypothesis, it would very quickly be dismissed as the ludicrous garbage that it is. It's even unreasonable to call ID a theory, since it's just creationism in a balaclava. Maybe natural selection should be thaught in religious classrooms?

Thu, 19 May 2011 11:29:18 UTC | #628396

Go to: American Christian realises he doesn't need the Bible to be good!

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Phen

That was really fascinating, you could almost hear the religiously enforced mental barrier beginning to tumble.

Wed, 18 May 2011 16:59:57 UTC | #628038

Go to: Muslim Women are LUCKY to be beaten (apparently)

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Phen

Wow, I actually have a sick stomach from watching that. The interviewer took it in his stride though, good on him. In my mind, he was furiously scribbling down notes off camera.

Wed, 18 May 2011 13:07:43 UTC | #627929

Go to: Tim Minchin's Storm the Animated Movie

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Phen

Comment 20 by skeelo :

Comment 4 by Phen :

Gotta love Tim Minchin, especially the rather explicit Pope Song!

Thanks for posting that link. I'd heard of the song before, but without being provided a direct link I'd, shamefully, been too lazy to look it up.

It was a cracking song, and not one word of it was untrue, but, rather less hilariously, singing this in the UK could see you prosecuted for 'stirring up religious hatred'. Maximum jail term 7 years. Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?

i'm Irish actually, so I'd probably be dragged to an exorcist to rid my soul of terrible demons.

Mon, 09 May 2011 12:38:49 UTC | #624888

Go to: Anatomical clues to human evolution from fish

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Phen

Fascinating stuff. It's like looking into our own past. At around 22 seconds, as mentioned above, it's got that common mammalian face with protruding snout and eyes on the side of it's head.

Thu, 05 May 2011 17:53:41 UTC | #623411

Go to: Causing offence....

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Phen

Comment 5 by Scoundrel :

Comment 3 by Phen :

Comment 2 by Neodarwinian :

Both my wives were indifferent to religion

A polygamist? Take that God! :P

Actually god is A-okay with it. (see the "holy" bible/Quran)

He probably didn't mean he was married too two people at the same time...derp.

Yeah, I was just kidding, I know what he meant. As for God being OK with it, he's not very consistent on the subject, is he? I think it's about time people realized (very few people on this site, obviously), that judging from the bible, he's about an effective at getting his point across as a drunk man who's misplaced both of his arms as well as his larynx.

Sorry, bit off topic. I think keeping your dignity is important in these situations. Religious people usually take offence anyway, so it may as well be to your calm and composed, strong, factual argument. You will probably then be bombarded with vacuous rhetoric, but what can you do?

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 18:20:10 UTC | #620034

Go to: Causing offence....

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Phen

Comment 2 by Neodarwinian :

Both my wives were indifferent to religion

A polygamist? Take that God! :P

Tue, 26 Apr 2011 19:04:42 UTC | #619651

Go to: Causing offence....

Phen's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Phen

Stephen Fry once said:

"It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?"

There's a phrase for your Facebook page. I don't think you can be an atheist without causing some religious people some offence. I don't see it as a bad thing though. I personally just try and keep calm and rational, often in the face of fury. We're doing nothing wrong, plus we'll always have facts on our side. Maybe the key is to try and make these people see that you're not an atheist simply to cause them, or their God, offence. Rather, you simply think it's ridiculous.

Sounds so simple on paper (or on the computer screen, as the case may be).

Tue, 26 Apr 2011 18:47:21 UTC | #619643