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Comments by Saerain

Go to: Republicans insane; want to establish theocracy

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Saerain

Comment 18 by mysticjbyrd :

Comment 14 by 78rpm :

Finally heard from another American who is pulled in two directions like me (Comment 11 by Free2011). I'm a Republican too, and I don't know how the hell to vote this time around, with the Republican party taken over by theocrats. I'm almost ready to defect....

I don't know how any one could call themselves a Republican after their racist party has intentionally tried to sabotage the country just to insure they get elected in 2012. And anyone with an IQ above a typewriter could see that fact plain as day. The current Republican party is a cancer within the US.

And I am not a Democrat.

I am, and I just want to offer that aligning yourself with a political party needn't mean that you support everything that even most of it does.

Republican candidates are notoriously more openly religious, yet there are plenty of atheists (here, even) that vote Republican.

Democrats are largely opposed to nuclear power and prone to using ‘tolerance’ as a euphemism for ‘condescending ignorance’, whilst I'd like to think this doesn't apply to me.

I've met a lot of Republicans this year that are dumbfounded by the 2012 candidates and feeling very divorced from their party.

You get the idea.

Tue, 22 Nov 2011 14:09:58 UTC | #892285

Go to: Ask Sam Harris Anything #1

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 96 by Saerain

In 1080p, I'm distracted by Sam's clubbed nails and all that could entail. I'm feeling all hypochondriacal on his behalf.

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 18:01:41 UTC | #845764

Go to: Atheists Get Their "Brokeback Mountain" Moment in the New Sundance Film, "The Ledge"

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Saerain

Comment 17 by danconquer :

Haha, people keep using this expression 'steal' someones wife. Is this their 'own' language, or are they making a comment on how theists will view the plotline?

At the risk of sounding like a PC bore, you can't "steal" someones wife, because she isn't the property of the husband. And, besides, as the person who is already in a relationship, doesn't she shoulder most of the moral responsibility in such a situation?

Thank you. That was eating at my composure.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 21:43:01 UTC | #636136

Go to: Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story'

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Saerain

Reason be yours, Stephen.

Mon, 16 May 2011 03:14:17 UTC | #627240

Go to: Do atheists need their own bible?

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 90 by Saerain

Comment 12 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 7 by jon_the_d :

There are two types of people in the world, (no not religious and non-religious), those who need 'guidance', and those who don't.

I think you hit on something there that I couldn't understand earlier in life. I went to church once for (the first time in my life) to please a religious girlfriend. Bored stiff by the tedium and the saccharine flavour of it all, I asked several people afterward why on earth they wanted to waste a perfectly good, free Sunday morning like that, especially since there's no mention of church-going in the Bible that I was aware of. "So that we can be good", "For moral lessons", and variations of same where the responses, from people who were astonished that I would ask such a dumb question.

I couldn't relate to it then, and I still can't today. Why would any adult human being need to be schooled in morality or need role models? Don't we all operate on a version of the Golden Rule, which predates Jesus by centuries?

It suggests a lack of innate empathy, doesn't it? Which, of course, almost certainly can't be true. They can't all be psychopaths. So it must be that they simply refuse to accept that their empathy is innate, for whatever reason. More than slightly beyond my understanding.

Fri, 29 Apr 2011 11:07:32 UTC | #620582

Go to: PZ Myers Skepticon 3 & and brief encounter outside the conference

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 98 by Saerain

It's a shame that eidetic memory is rare enough that you can't simply ask a person to recite a specific verse to quickly verify that they have read it.

Thu, 03 Feb 2011 10:37:48 UTC | #587275

Go to: PZ Myers Skepticon 3 & and brief encounter outside the conference

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 95 by Saerain

Comment 84 by Anaximander :

So telleth, what is the etymology of the word "why"? I'd like to know...


Heh. Indeed, I would have been tempted to turn his side of the 'intellectual conversation' back at him:

Gum-chewing Guy: Well, he knows that. He created that.

Saerain: Uh-huh.

GCG: That's the mysteries of God! That's the wonderment of God—

Saerain: Why's that?

GCG: Because he's God, he knows and can do anything, he's—

Saerain: OK. Why's that?

GCG: ....

I imagine it ending with a fist in my face.

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 23:41:33 UTC | #587165

Go to: PZ Myers Skepticon 3 & and brief encounter outside the conference

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 83 by Saerain

My snap character judgment on gum-chewing guy was 'found Jesus (and gum) for anger management.'

Seems to have done him good if that's the case, but I'd be concerned that the mask is thin.

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 09:26:09 UTC | #586855

Go to: Uncovering the neurobiological basis of general anesthesia

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Saerain

I had no idea that we didn't already know the neurobiological basis for general anesthesia. I feel like such a pioneer, now!

Also, my one experience under GA wasn't what I'd describe as flipping a switch on and off. I seemed conscious, merely numb and very delirious. Distorted images of doctors circling around me, a floating sensation... it was rather like a high fever, for me, without the pain.

Although my subjective experience of this was about two minutes long, and the surgery took 44, so I suppose that the experience was either the process of me going under and waking up stringed together, or that is one hell of a contraction of subjective time.

Fri, 31 Dec 2010 19:17:54 UTC | #571597

Go to: You are what your father ate: Paternal diet affects lipid metabolizing genes in offspring

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Comment 3 by Michael Austin :

I know that I've read in more than one of Dawkins' books (currently reading that exact passage in 'River out of Eden' ) that genes do not learn from behavior of their bodies. Has that been overturned now?

Yes and no. Not from the behavior of the body, but from certain common stresses on the cell that don't necessarily fall into the usual deadly ruleset of natural selection.

The way I understand it, epigenetic methylation can create a thick heterochromatin that renders a gene inaccessible to transcription factors so that it isn't expressed in the cell. The underlying DNA remains unchanged in a more classical sense, i.e. the gene is intact and in a state that would otherwise be active, yet it is masked, or 'silenced,' and this is clonally inherited.

Fri, 24 Dec 2010 08:09:23 UTC | #568312

Go to: Fight the good fight: Blair v Hitchens

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Saerain

Argh, what a misleading ellipsis:

But if Hitchens, who knows that his cancer of the oesophagus will probably be fatal, is preparing to meet his maker, it was not apparent. Not that anyone would expect anything else from one of the world's most prominent atheists. "Religion is a real danger to the survival of civilisation… it will be the death of us all, the end of humanity," he declared.

The words following the ellipsis were not a declaration of his, but a reminder of what the Abrahamic religions declare of themselves.

Context: it is everything.

Sun, 28 Nov 2010 18:54:59 UTC | #554882

Go to: Get Richard Dawkins on TV in the States!

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Saerain

On behalf of all American atheists, I extend great thanks for this foreign aid.

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 17:44:46 UTC | #551045

Go to: Richard Dawkins Answers Reddit Questions

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 148 by Saerain

As a member of the male sex, I'm deeply offended by the suggestions that, due to her behavior and/or appearance, Ann Coulter is a man.

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 13:08:53 UTC | #550935

Go to: Atheist Groups Promote a Holiday Message: Join Us

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Saerain

I've never understood annual celebrations in general. I'll issue all the appropriate congratulations when something actually happens, but the significance of the date on which it happens is lost on me....

Sat, 13 Nov 2010 08:56:50 UTC | #546719

Go to: Iran Infuriated By Film Of Woman's Stoning

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Saerain

Quill, the film is a dramatization of the stoning, intended to draw criticism of it, not a snuff film. It's on our side.

Tue, 19 Oct 2010 14:43:37 UTC | #535650

Go to: I have no faith in these unholy warlords

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 70 by Saerain

'Macho atheism' is a term I never expected to crop up. Trying to wrap my mind around it, now. May need to take a walk.

Her fixation on the three people she chose to single out being male is strange.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 06:49:19 UTC | #521045

Go to: Qur'an burning? Been there, done that, say Westboro Baptist Church

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 64 by Saerain

Does anyone know what Fred's sign reads in that image? God is Your Ending? God is Your Enemy? God is Your Enema?

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 06:29:43 UTC | #521043

Go to: Queen To Have Lunch With Insane Criminal

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by Saerain

Cartomancer, though I'm not a citizen of the UK, I found myself very moved by that poem. Kudos.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 06:17:19 UTC | #521039

Go to: Jon Stewart Announces DC 'Rally to Restore Sanity'

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Saerain

Comment 12 by GamerFromJumpZ :

One has to wonder where all these calls for sanity were during the previous administration, the head of which did not ban people from the country for insulting him. Just sayin'.

  1. Do you really think that the President had any kind of personal hand in this? It's more likely that he never read the thing.

  2. I don't see what you mean by 'for insulting him.' We have no idea what was said in the e-mail. Looking at more than that ABC article, the FBI simply claims it was threatening and Angel himself claims he doesn't remember. The fact that the screeners work through plenty of 'insulting' e-mails every day suggests that there was quite a lot more to this. If he was as fucked out of his mind as he claims, it's pretty easy to imagine how unstable it probably seemed.

Updated: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 03:03:39 UTC | #521003

Go to: Unanswerable Prayers

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Saerain

Comment 2 by Ode2Hitch :

Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins :

Cast a cold Eye / On Life, on Death. / Horseman, pass by.


Very apt.

It was also encouraging to hear of Francis Collins spending personal time with CH and his family. One thing I think can be assured is that Hitch will have the cream of the medical profession assisting his current predicament. I think it also worth noting the number of his 'opponents' currently stating their admiration for his stoicism and indeed for the man himself, long may he continue.

A cold, ironic encouragement if there ever was one, considering what Francis Collins' NIH has recently done to stem cell research.

Sat, 04 Sep 2010 14:05:21 UTC | #511220

Go to: An Update from Christopher Hitchens

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Saerain

Comment 13 by Crazycharlie :

Well, all the faithful will be gloating that this is god's punishment of course. They've already started with vile comments at Vanity Fair.

Just the tip of the iceberg I'm afraid.

And if he does just fine, it'll be God's forgiveness. Indeed.

Updated: Thu, 01 Jul 2010 01:32:46 UTC | #485294

Go to: Nature by Numbers

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Saerain

I'm a dyscalculic obsessed with mathematics, and it is at times like this that I truly despair of it. Having been a philosophy major at 13 does not make up for it.

Mon, 05 Apr 2010 05:53:00 UTC | #455979

Go to: Christopher Hitchens and Bill Donohue on FOX News

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Saerain

It's nice to see the Hitch around again, lately. I thought he'd retired from verbal expression for a while, there.

Mon, 29 Mar 2010 21:30:00 UTC | #453781

Go to: Christopher Hitchens on Real Time w Bill Maher, March 26, 2010

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Saerain

6. Comment #473328 by SaintStephen on March 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Hitchens, in particular, appears bound and determined to tattoo the Catholic Church (and its head vicar) with the egregious crime of pedophilia [...]
I just want to be the obligatory pedant here and note that paraphilias cannot be criminal. Pedophilia ≠ child molestation.

Carry on.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:16:00 UTC | #453142

Go to: Universe Has Billions More Stars Than Thought

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Saerain

More galaxies don't help the dark matter problem. More luminous mass within each galaxy would.

Unless this discovery also implies that 90% of the light from galaxies even as close as Andromeda and Triangulum is failing to reach us. That would be immensely helpful.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 17:32:00 UTC | #453069

Go to: The Nightline 'Faceoff'

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Saerain

I liked the part when he called neuroscience woo-woo.

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 20:46:00 UTC | #451591

Go to: The Nightline 'Faceoff'

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Saerain

The statement that coalesced in my mind at that point was, 'Whether or not Schrodinger's cat is alive or dead, the cat is in the box.'

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 20:35:00 UTC | #451584

Go to: The Nightline 'Faceoff'

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Saerain

The strangest thing from Jean, I thought, was the bit that began with, 'I'm looking at this as a woman,' and proceeded to append a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with being a woman. Something about the women causing the development of 'wisdom traditions with spiritual meta-technologies and processes'? Say what? Quite a head-spinner.

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 18:28:00 UTC | #451531

Go to: Science can answer moral questions

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Saerain

I normally have something, however tiny and trivial, to disagree with Sam on, but this is 100% brilliant, in my mind.

It was also uploaded to YouTube less than a minute after I wondered to myself where he's been. Clearly, the universe bends to my will. Saerain 2012.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 19:15:00 UTC | #451187

Go to: Did Cooking Make Us Human?

Saerain's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Saerain

I have no salary. My girlfriend of nine years does (as a cook). We both have a BMI of 18. My observations throughout my area (Western Massachusetts) haven't found many conflicting partnerships. In fact, if anything, I find more thin women (usually artsy) with thin geeky men than fat women.

I find the fat women with the fat men, and that the fat men tend to prefer fat women anyway.

I'd say that it appears to me that we seek out body types similar to our own (or similar to our ideal self if we were of our preferred sex), much like we seek those who think similarly.

Sat, 06 Mar 2010 16:22:00 UTC | #447025