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Comments by Blue State Mike

Go to: James Cameron finds grave of Jesus & Son

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by Blue State Mike

True or not, it's just so much fun seeing something like this push the buttons of believers. We really are in a period of socking it to the bastards, aren't we? Alas, it won't last forever, and even more alas, I sadly predict it won't have much impact on their "faith."

Thu, 01 Mar 2007 00:28:00 UTC | #21280

Go to: Dawkins v. Collins Debate

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Blue State Mike

At least as far as the published portions of the debate go, I remember after reading it in Time several months ago, that I felt Richard wasn't as aggressive as he could have been in refuting some of Collins' points. Sorry, but I'd have to re-read the piece to remember specifics. I suppose, the sake of this thread, that I should. Stay tuned.

Thu, 01 Mar 2007 00:21:00 UTC | #21278

Go to: Believing In Things Unseen Is Not Delusion

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Blue State Mike

curious, coming from the editor of the unabashedly liberal Newsweek.

Wed, 07 Feb 2007 00:26:00 UTC | #18817

Go to: 'Everyone Is Afraid to Criticize Islam': Interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Blue State Mike

fuck Islam; the only problem I had with the reports of guards flushing korans down toilets at guantanimo bay was that they weren't flushing bibles down with them; after all, they're both shit...

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 23:55:00 UTC | #18815

Go to: Britons unconvinced on evolution

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by Blue State Mike

sorry, don't trust this poll or its methodology; you brits can't be as ignorant as us yanks, right? well, right?!?

Wed, 24 Jan 2007 00:58:00 UTC | #16942

Go to: Zeus devotees worship in Athens

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Blue State Mike

As I believe Richard, Sam Harris and others have noted, why do large segments of society consider some Gods (Zeus, among others) myths, yet other Gods (Jesus, Allah) not?

Sun, 21 Jan 2007 18:35:00 UTC | #16577

Go to: Radical cleric sparks fury in Australia

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Blue State Mike

You know the old James Bond novels in which SPECTRE was always, behind the scenes, manipulating the Soviets and the Americans into hopefully anniliating each other so that SPECTRE would be the last man standing? We should adopt the same strategy regarding Islam and Christianity, though, as events unfold, they don't really seem to need our help, do they? Maybe we can at least hasten the process, and try not to get caught in the crossfire.

Fri, 19 Jan 2007 21:46:00 UTC | #16344

Go to: Conservative Atheists

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by Blue State Mike

Though a liberal Democrat, I find a nascent conservative secular movement thrilling in that it has the potential to help break the stranglehold on the Republican party by the odious (and IMO, traitorous, since they seek to undermine the secular Constitution) religious right. You go, girl.

Thu, 18 Jan 2007 00:52:00 UTC | #16031

Go to: Wash. school board restricts Gore's global-warming film

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Blue State Mike

Frosty - your post, in which you sharply question science, but give the far more skepticism-worthy religion a free pass, aptly demonstrates that fundamentalist extremists such as yourself are intellectually dead or dishonest or self-deluding or some or all of the above. And no, blind faith is NOT a virtue. Religion is ignorance. And you are a fool.

P.S. - Even Pat Robertson has become a global warming true believer, for the love of Jesus. What is your excuse?

Mon, 15 Jan 2007 23:41:00 UTC | #15784

Go to: The Blasphemy Challenge

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 219 by Blue State Mike

I am in favor of anything that enrages the religious right, as I am sure this brilliant campaign will; more such in-your-face, thinking-outside-the-box campaigns should be launched by our side; put the bastards even more on the defensive. Culture Warrior indeed.

Mon, 15 Jan 2007 23:31:00 UTC | #15782

Go to: How Old is the Grand Canyon? Park Service Won't Say

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 92 by Blue State Mike

Here's the government's official statement on the controversy:

Age of Grand Canyon

Recently there have been several media and internet reports concerning
the National Park Service’s interpretation of the formation of the Grand
Canyon.

The National Park Service uses the latest National Academy of Sciences
explanation for the geologic formation of the Grand Canyon. Our
guidance to the field is contained in the NPS Management Policies 2006
and NPS Director’s Order # 6 and requires that the interpretive and
educational treatment used to explain the natural processes and history
of the Earth must be based on the best scientific evidence available, as
found in scholarly sources that have stood the test of scientific peer
review and criticism. Our commitment to scientific accuracy is also
driven by Director’s Order #11B, which requires us to ensure the
objectivity of the information we disseminate.

Therefore, our interpretive talks, way-side exhibits, visitor center
films, etc use the following explanation for the age of the geologic
features at Grand Canyon. If asked the age of the Grand Canyon, our
rangers use the following answer.

The principal consensus among geologists is that the Colorado
River basin has developed in the past 40 million years and that
the Grand Canyon itself is probably less than five to six million
years old. The result of all this erosion is one of the most
complete geologic columns on the planet.

The major geologic exposures in Grand Canyon range in age from the
1.7 billion year old Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the Inner
Gorge to the 270 million year old Kaibab Limestone on the Rim.

So, why are there news reports that differ from this explanation? Since
2003 the park bookstore has been selling a book that gives a Creationist
view of the formation of the Grand Canyon, claiming that the canyon is
less than six thousand years old. This book is sold in the
inspirational section of the bookstore. In this section there are
photographic texts, poetry books, and Native American books (that also
give an alternative view of the canyon’s origin).

The park’s bookstore contains scores of texts that give the NPS geologic
view of the formation of the canyon.

We do not use the Creationist text in our teaching nor do we endorse its
content. However, neither do we censor alternative beliefs. Much like
your local public library, you will find many alternative beliefs, but
not all of these beliefs are used in the school classroom.

It is not our role to tell people what to believe. We recognize that
alternative views exist, but we teach the scientific explanation for the
formation of the Grand Canyon.

I hope this explanation helps.

David Barna
Chief of Public Affairs
National Park Service
Washington, DC
Registered Professional Geologist (AIPG #6528)
Licensed Geologist (North Carolina #129)

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 17:11:00 UTC | #15473

Go to: Federal Way schools restrict Gore film

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Blue State Mike

Sorry for the length, but this is the reply from the school board member at the center of the controversy, Dave Larson, to my angry e-mail to him:


Due to the volume of interest in this matter I am using auto-reply to
get
you the quickest reply possible because your concerns about what we did
are important. I write this intending to express my own views and not
the
views of other board members. I will not be replying to your replies.
Some of the media has not reported this matter accurately and I wanted
to
make sure the issues and our decision were clear to you. Feel free to
share this with others who are concerned.

1. We did not make the decision based upon Mr. Hardison's religious
or
other beliefs. The decision was made because a teacher was going to
show
the movie and it did not appear she was following policy. It turned
out
that she was not following policy. There was also an offer last week
by
the proponents of the movie to give 50,000 copies to teachers across
the
country to use as curriculum, which would have increased the chance
that
the movie would be used. There was more than one complaint/concern
expressed about this issue based upon that alone.
2. We did not ban or censor the movie and have no intent to do so.
Teachers can use it as they see fit if they follow policy on movies and
controversial issues, but because there was some misunderstanding on
the
policy we asked that the Superintendent be involved in making sure
policy
was being followed. One of our high schools has already used the
movie.
The students were asked to take a side, research the issues, and then
debate the issues from that standpoint. What they did goes above and
beyond the policy in my opinion.
3. We are not banning the teaching of global warming.
4. The debate on global warming is crucial to society and limiting the
debate to only one side's view of the facts and science would not be
good
for anyone even if they believe the debate is over.
5. Our policies are designed to make sure that the door is open for
more
debate on issues, not less, but it does not mean as some allege that
any
wacko theory can be taught in our schools.
6. The decision was made upon existing policy. It was not based on
anyone's direct belief regarding politics, science, religion, or when
the
earth was formed or when it will end.
7. Policy 2331 and 2331P is intended to prevent one-sided views of
controversial issues.
8. There was more than one complaint/concern expressed about this
issue.
9. The policy should be equally enforced regardless of what side of
the
spectrum any controversial issue falls upon. This protects the
integrity
of the education process. We would have made the same decision if the
movie was about the Iraq war or some other issue and was narrated by
George W. Bush or some other partisan, even if the proponents felt the
debate was over on the topic they were presenting.
10. Using a partisan to present issues affecting contested public
policy
matters makes it controversial per se. The media attention to our
decision is also evidence of the controversial nature of this film.
11. Science and politics have been merged on this issue by persons
beyond
our control. The political aspect of this is what makes it the most
controversial, especially when a political partisan makes the
presentation. With that in mind, there are many other ways to teach
global warming instead of using a feature film by a political partisan
(see links below from NOAA and NASA that have references to skeptics),
but
despite that we did not vote to "ban" the movie even though we could
have.
We also had the power to compel specific sources be used instead of
the
movie and did not do that either. Some have raised the issue of us not
watching the movie first, but we did not ban the movie or that would
have
been crucial. We did feel it was controversial based upon the above
reasons which is all we needed to know based upon our policy.
12. On the issue of how final the debate is, Galileo and other out of
the
box thinkers come to mind. Would they have ever made their discoveries
had they not questioned what was perceived to be the determined "facts"
of
the day by those in power? Those who believe science is infallible
need a
history lesson. Research issues that were thought to be scientific
fact
50 or 100 years ago and you will truly understand why we believe in
debate, even about science and even when some think the debate is over.

In sum, we simply asked for duly adopted policy to be followed by
making
sure opposing views were presented when a political partisan presents a
contested political/scientific issue to impressionable youth.

Thank you.

Dave Larson

http://eobglossary.gsfc.nasa.gov/Library/GlobalWarming/warming.html

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html#IN TRO

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Laboratory/PlanetEarthScience/GlobalWarming/GW.html

Controversial Issues - Teaching of - 2331

The Federal Way School District shall offer courses of study which
provide
learning experiences appropriate to the level of student understanding.
The instructional program shall respect the rights of students to face
issues, to have free access to information, to study under teachers in
situations free from prejudice, and to form, hold, an d express their
own
opinions without personal prejudice or discrimination.

Adoption Date: 8/10/98

Controversial Issues, Teaching Of - 2331P

The Board of Education of the Federal Way School District establishes
the
following guidelines to deal with the teaching of controversial issues:

• It is the teacher's responsibility to present controversial
issues that
are free from prejudice an d encourage students to form, hold and
express
their own opinions without personal prejudice or discrimination.

• When a teacher is in doubt as to whether or not a topic or speaker
is
controversial, they should refer the matter to the school principal.

• When controversial topics are presented in the classroom, students
can
choose not to participate. Alternate learning opportunities will be
provided.

When handling controversial issues, the teacher may not present his/her
own personal position as the only acceptable position, which may be
taken
on that particular issue. The teacher shall not seek to bring about a
single conclusion to which all students must subscribe, but rather
encourage a problem solving environment. The teacher shall not
suppress a
student's view on that issue as long as the expression of that view
is not
derogatory, malicious, or abusive toward the other students' views,
nor
shall one student be permitted to dominate the discussion.

8/10/98

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 16:52:00 UTC | #15469

Go to: Pat Robertson: God told me of 'mass killing' in 2007

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by Blue State Mike

Oops. Spoke too soon. Just got censored over at wnd.com, trying to correct one "believer" who implied that Jefferson was a good Christian. Tried to correct him with a couple anti-Christianity Jefferson quotes from The God Delusion. The moderator said I was engaging in "Christian bashing." Well, if presenting the facts constitutes "Christian bashing," I plead guilty as charged.

Tue, 09 Jan 2007 23:46:00 UTC | #15023

Go to: Pat Robertson: God told me of 'mass killing' in 2007

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 86 by Blue State Mike

P.S. - Commenting here on Richard's site is pleasant because most of us share the same values (it is especially pleasant for those of us here in religion-ridden America). But let's face it, we are for the most part preaching to the choir (sorry for the religious allusion). More meaningful, I find, is commenting on religious sites - taking the fight to the bastards. One such site that, to its credit has allowed me to post secular in-your-face comments, is the far right World Net Daily (www.wnd.com). Who wants to join me? Who knows? Maybe we can free some minds from the slavery of fundamentalist Christianity.

Sat, 06 Jan 2007 01:12:00 UTC | #14353

Go to: Pat Robertson: God told me of 'mass killing' in 2007

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 84 by Blue State Mike

Let me help with the sub-text of bitter ol' Pat's odious bit of wishful thinking: "the evil Democrats now control both houses of Congress and so God will punish the millions of Americans who voted for them by raining down vengeance."
Had the Religious Right and its conservative Republican lackies not suffered such a devastating setback in the November mid-term elections, I seriously doubt Pat would be making such a prediction. Hey Pat, get over it already.

Fri, 05 Jan 2007 12:12:00 UTC | #14252

Go to: Beliefwatch: Blasphemy (Challenge)

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Blue State Mike

My idea of Hell is to spend eternity with a bunch of fundamentalist Christians; so wherever they're going to be, book me a room in the other place, thank you very much.

Mon, 01 Jan 2007 23:19:00 UTC | #13758

Go to: The problem with secularism

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 82 by Blue State Mike

As long as Blond and Pabst reference the Matrix, here's my own long-held Matrix analogy: "believers" are still asleep inside the illusion of the God Matrix; we secularists have awakened from the dream.

Mon, 25 Dec 2006 19:11:00 UTC | #12945

Go to: Christmas Present to Defenders of Darwinism

Blue State Mike's Avatar Jump to comment 65 by Blue State Mike

Excellent article in the new (Jan./Feb. 2007) issue of Skeptical Inquirer, written by key Dover plaintiffs' witness Barbara Forrest, analyzing the win, and detailing Dumbski's (sorry, couldn't resist the misspelling) wise (for once) decision to exit the case for fear of being eviscerated on cross examination.

btw Bill, I have my own question for you: is all the suffering in the world, including, at this very moment (Christmas Eve no less!) thousands of Third and Fourth World infants dying of starvation, part of the "Intelligent Design" you espouse? Sadistic and/or incompetent bastard, isn't your "Designer"?

Sun, 24 Dec 2006 19:23:00 UTC | #12841