#0015 RRS Newsletter for June 15, 2007

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Next week I will be adding a new category to the newsletter. I've been noticing that a lot of the things I post under "Community" could have their own category called "Government". Since tomorrow is my day off from doing a newsletter, I would like to hear your opinions on this addition. Is the "Community" category sufficient enough to cover polotics? Or is this new addition warranted?

I would also like to direct your attention to the local news section. The Director for the state of Michigan under the American Atheists needs a little push to help fund the many activities they engage in to help our cause in the separation of church and state. Any ammount of help would be greatly appreciated.

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This is from Arlene, the Michigan State Director for American Atheists:

Hello Michigan Atheists: PLEASE HELP ME

Once a year I reach out to Atheists throughout Michigan and Ohio. This about money and only you can help.

As you know, there is no membership fee in Michigan and I have no budget from a higher power. But, I do have hefty expenses: stamps, ink cartridges, print heads, reams of paper, web page fees, phone bills, electronic equipment, and protest banners to list but a few. Beyond all that, I travel about in the state to testify at various hearings, hold rallies, speak at numerous venues, and represent Michigan Atheists in various states, border to border. I fund these ventures out of my personal pocket and underwriter most of the stuff mentioned and that's OK, but I need a financial boost.

The good news is that amazing things continue to happen with Michigan Atheists. We continue to produce our own Cable TV show, "Atheists Speak Up," and have once again kicked the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools out of Michigan.

Our law suit with the City of Detroit regarding, what has grown to 3 churches receiving over one million tax payer dollars is heating up, and a dozen Michigan Atheists just returned from Kentucky where we lent our voice of reason to the opening of a Creation Museum. Now, we are preparing to travel to Washington, D.C for the "Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice, where we will deliver our message in person to our members of Congress.

And, in July, we celebrate our first year with a booth at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. This is not only costing big bucks - entry fees, canopy, table and thousands of pieces of handouts, but will require many hours of volunteer duty.

We are all volunteers here and feel our work is important. Together we can, and ARE making a difference. Please help us. We need your support in all our efforts, but a few bucks will carry a huge punch. We promise your donation will not be blessed, but will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much, Arlene

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Please make your check payable to George Shiffer, Treasurer, and mail to:
Michigan Atheists, PO Box 0025, Allen Park, MI 48101

NAME______________________________________PHONE_____________________

ADDRESS__________________________CITY__________________ZIP__________

Email Address______________________________Cell Phone:___________________

ARLENE-MARIE, Michigan Atheists Affiliate Director
amarie@atheists.org (313) 388-9594 Cell: (313) 938-5960 michiganatheists.org
PO Box 0025 Allen Park, MI 48101

"Action without discussion is dangerous. Discussion without action is futile"

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070613131905.htm"

Double Explosion Heralds The Death Of A Very Massive Star

Research suggests morality is built in the brain

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 15, 2007 6:03 AM

Jussi K. Niemelä

Research suggests morality is built in the brain

By SHANKAR VEDANTAM | Washington Post, May 29, 2007

Science opens new window on what it means to be good

WASHINGTON — The e-mail came from the next room.

“You gotta see this!” Jorge Moll had written. Moll and Jordan Grafman, neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., had been scanning the brains of volunteers as they were asked to think about a scenario involving either donating a sum of money to charity or keeping it for themselves.

As Grafman read the e-mail, Moll came bursting in. The scientists stared at each other.

The results were showing that when the volunteers placed the interests of others before their own, the generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.

Their 2006 finding that unselfishness can feel good lends scientific support to the admonitions of spiritual leaders such as St. Francis of Assisi, who said, “For it is in giving that we receive.” But it also is a dramatic example of the way neuroscience has begun to elbow its way into discussions about morality and has opened a new window on what it means to be good.

Grafman and others are using brain imaging and psychological experiments to study whether the brain has a built-in moral compass. The results — many of them published in recent months — are showing, unexpectedly, that many aspects of morality appear to be hard-wired in the brain, most likely the result of evolutionary processes that began in other species.

No one can say whether giraffes and lions experience moral qualms in the same way people do because no one has been inside a giraffe’s head, but it is known that animals can sacrifice their own interests: One experiment found that if each time a rat is given food, its neighbor receives an electric shock, the first rat will eventually forgo eating.

What the new research is showing is that morality has biological roots — such as the reward center in the brain that lit up in Grafman’s experiment — that have been around for a very long time.

The more researchers learn, the more it appears the foundation of morality is empathy. Being able to recognize — even experience vicariously — what another creature is going through was an important leap in the evolution of social behavior. And it is only a short step from this awareness to many human notions of right and wrong, says Jean Decety, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago.

The research enterprise has been viewed with interest by philosophers and theologians, but already some worry that it raises troubling questions. Reducing morality and immorality to brain chemistry — rather than free will — might diminish the importance of personal responsibility. Even more important, some wonder whether the very idea of morality is somehow degraded if it turns out to be just another evolutionary tool that nature uses to help species survive and propagate.

Moral decisions can often feel like abstract intellectual challenges, but a number of experiments such as the one by Grafman have shown that emotions are central to moral thinking. In another experiment published in March, University of Southern California neuroscientist Antonio Damasio and his colleagues showed that patients with damage to an area of the brain known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex lack the ability to feel their way to moral answers.

When confronted with moral dilemmas, the brain-damaged patients coldly came up with “end-justifies-the-means” answers. Damasio said the point was not that they reached immoral conclusions, but when confronted by a difficult issue — such as whether to shoot down a passenger plane hijacked by terrorists before it hits a major city — these patients appear to reach decisions without the anguish that afflicts those with normally functioning brains.

Such experiments have two important implications. One is that morality is not merely about the decisions people reach but also about the process by which they get there. Another implication, said Adrian Raine, a clinical neuroscientist at the University of Southern California, is that society might have to rethink how it judges immoral people.

Psychopaths often feel no empathy or remorse. Without that awareness, people relying exclusively on reasoning seem to find it harder to sort their way through moral thickets. Does that mean they should be held to different standards of accountability?

“Eventually, you are bound to get into areas that for thousands of years we have preferred to keep mystical,” said Grafman, the chief cognitive neuroscientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Some of the questions that are important are not just of intellectual interest, but challenging and frightening to the ways we ground our lives. We need to step very carefully.”

Joshua Greene, a Harvard neuroscientist and philosopher, said multiple experiments suggest morality arises from basic brain activities. Morality, he said, is not a brain function elevated above our baser impulses. Greene said it is not “handed down” by philosophers and clergy, but “handed up,” an outgrowth of the brain’s basic propensities.

Moral decision-making often involves competing brain networks vying for supremacy, he said. Simple moral decisions — is killing a child right or wrong? — are simple because they activate a straightforward brain response. Difficult moral decisions, by contrast, activate multiple brain regions that conflict with one another, he said.

In one 2004 brain-imaging experiment, Greene asked volunteers to imagine they were hiding in a cellar of a village as enemy soldiers came looking to kill all the inhabitants. If a baby was crying in the cellar, Greene asked, was it right to smother the child to keep the soldiers from discovering the cellar and killing everyone?

The reason people are slow to answer such an awful question, the study indicated, is that emotion-linked circuits automatically signaling that killing a baby is wrong clash with areas of the brain that involve cooler aspects of cognition. One brain region activated when people process such difficult choices is the inferior parietal lobe, which has been shown to be active in more impersonal decision-making. This part of the brain, in essence, was “arguing” with brain networks that reacted with visceral horror.

Such studies point to a pattern, Greene said, showing “competing forces that might have come online at different points in our evolutionary history. A basic emotional response is probably much older than the ability to evaluate costs and benefits.”

While one implication of such findings is that people with certain kinds of brain damage might do bad things they cannot be held responsible for, the new research could also expand the boundaries of moral responsibility. Neuroscience research, Greene said, is finally explaining a problem that has long troubled philosophers and moral teachers: Why is it that people who are willing to help someone in front of them will ignore abstract pleas for help from those who are distant, such as a request for a charitable contribution that could save the life of a child overseas?

“We evolved in a world where people in trouble right in front of you existed, so our emotions were tuned to them, whereas we didn’t face the other kind of situation,” Greene said. “It is comforting to think your moral intuitions are reliable and you can trust them. But if my analysis is right, your intuitions are not trustworthy. Once you realize why you have the intuitions you have, it puts a burden on you” to think about morality differently.”

Scientists Solve Genome Of Promising Marine Organism

Science Daily — Scientists at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have solved the genomic puzzle of an organism discovered in the oceans with potential for producing compounds showing promise in treating diseases such as cancer.

Daniel Udwary and Bradley Moore joined colleagues at Scripps and the Department of Energy's (DOE) Joint Genome Institute in successfully sequencing the genome of Salinispora tropica. The decoding opens the door to a range of possibilities for isolating and adapting potent molecules the marine organism naturally employs in the ocean environment for chemical defense, scavenging for nutrients and communication.

Salinispora was discovered in 1991 by Scripps Oceanography's Paul Jensen and William Fenical in shallow ocean sediment off the Bahamas. The bacterium produces compounds that have shown promising signs for treating cancers. Its product, "salinosporamide A," is currently in human clinical trials (Nereus Pharmaceuticals of San Diego) for treating multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow, as well as for treating solid tumors.

"By sequencing Salinispora tropica we are now able to look in greater detail at this organism and potentially pull out some of the other compounds from the gene clusters that may make highly potent anticancer agents," said Moore, a professor with Scripps' Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine and the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. "It's exciting to be able to use this genomic information to maximize the discoveries from this prolific organism."

Much of the anticipation of producing new medicines from Salinispora comes from its potential to augment the current arsenal of antibiotics, many of which are ineffective against increasingly drug-resistant bacteria. More than half of the natural antibiotics now used clinically are derived from the Streptomyces genus, the land-based relatives of Salinispora that are considered the kings of antibiotic-producing organisms.

Having achieved genome sequencing success, Moore and his colleagues can now move into genetic engineering research, such as manipulating the machinery inside the bacterium to potentially yield new derivatives of compounds such as salinosporamide A. Other possibilities include using the information to increase compound manufacturing capabilities and generating new structures based on genomic designs.

"With the genome information in hand, we now understand the molecular basis for how nature synthesizes (salinosporamide A), which is allowing us to re-engineer its biosynthetic pathway," said Moore.

Sequencing the genome revealed several previously unknown aspects of Salinispora tropica.

For example, while observations in similar bacteria revealed that typically 6- to 8-percent of the organism's genome is dedicated to producing molecules for antibiotics and anticancer agents, Salinispora tropica's genome showed an impressive 10 percent, "to our delight," said Moore.

The scientists pinpointed 17 gene clusters scattered throughout the organism's genome as responsible for producing the 10 percent.

"If we know the genetic roadmap of their potential, we can read the sequence and the DNA to predict what chemicals are being made," said Moore. "This is a way to mine the genomes for new chemical structures and new biology, with potential in a human health context."

Advances by Fenical's laboratory in deciphering the chemical structures of natural Salinispora products were key for Moore and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in solving the genome structure of Salinispora tropica. Indeed, the traditional "shotgun" approach, in which pieces of the genome are scrambled into small sections and rebuilt, failed to solve the genome puzzle. Instead, information about the natural chemistry of the organism helped close the sequencing gap, believed to be a first.

Current studies are concentrating on solving the genome of Salinispora arenicola, a related species also found in tropical sea sediment.

In addition to Udwary, Moore, Fenical and Jensen, coauthors of the research paper include Lisa Zeigler and Ratnakar Asolkar of Scripps Oceanography and Vasanth Singan and Alla Lapidus of JGI.

The results were recently released in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institutes of Health and JGI.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University of California - San Diego.

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Atheist Arguments Can't Work with Christian Fundamentalists

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 15, 2007 6:19 AM

By John Blatt (Reposted from 2 Days ago, Poster Unknown)

I, along with many other ex-Christians, am in a rare position to speak on one of the most oppressive thought systems that has ever been subjected upon humanity and because I honestly care about our world and our spiritual and psychic evolution of humanity do I set out to help some to be free from this darkness. This HAS to come out of me. I need to know that I did all that I could with the knowledge that I have to help humanity in the best way that I can. It is a part of who I am and what I am here to do with the remaining time I have left.

Okay, why is it that Atheistic arguments cannot work against Christian Fundamentalism? Over the past three years I have read most of the major and many of the minor works on Atheism and its arguments against theism in general and fundamentalism in particular. There are some great arguments for sure, yet as a very knowledgeable ex-Christian I can logically answer 99% of all the hardest questions that can be posed to a Christian. I had (and still have) a solid answer for every question, and well-educated Christians (that is those Christians who truly know their bibles, hermeneutics, and the various disciplines of theology) also can answer such hard questions (though maybe not to the satisfaction of an Atheist). So being able to rebut Christianity through logic, science, nitpicking the contradictions of the bible, or various other means just doesn't work (on the whole). It just doesn't. If it did there would be hordes of people leaving Christianity. Certainly other religions have even less of an effect upon Christian ideology. If anything it strengthens the resolve of those who are serious Christians. If Atheism, rational thought, science, and every other religion cannot dismantle the Christian religion then is there any hope of freeing the world from this incredible darkness?

Yes. Most Atheists have never been a die-hard, living martyr for Christ and "the Faith." There are some of us Atheists who have lived that life, gave ourselves to Jesus and "his truth", sacrificed everything in our utter devotion to love and serve him, his truth and his church. "That Christ might live in us and that we might die" all for Jesus. There are ex-Christians who were as devout or deeply ingrained within it as I have been and they know, as I do, why arguments, whatever they might be, just didn't hold water. We know the passion and determination of other extremists from religions like Islam and Mormonism as well.

Ultimately, there are only two ways to break through this incredibly resilient ideology and belief system, to break into the minds of these people and help them to see. The first being: Universal Reconciliation, the third major theological system of the bible (the other two being Arminianism and Calvinism). Universal Reconciliation is the most consistent New Testament theological system and portrays god in the highest and most loving and merciful light. Universal Reconciliation is a much higher view of Christ and god than the vast majority of evangelical Christianity holds to, which falls within the confines of Arminianism or Calvinism (usually an inconsistent combination of the two). Anyone who truly knows the bible understands that the bible is broken up into covenants, mainly the new covenant and the old covenant. The new covenant was created when Jesus died on the cross (according to the bible that is). Everything before Jesus' death was under the old covenant, which was just a foreshadow or anti-type of the real, which was Christ and his new covenant. This is why knowledgeable Christians will never be moved with all the horrid and murderous quotes from the Old Testament - "that was under the old covenant and was fulfilled in Christ." The Old Testament is not the canon of the Christian, the New Testament is. Though many less knowledgeable Christians see the Old Testament quotes and try to follow them. This is why the Phelps' and other members of Westboro Baptist Cult in, Topeka, Kansas can say and do what they do. They take the Old Testament scriptures as their cannon (that is, it is authoritative to them) and use it for their own horribly deviant agendas. The new covenant puts all the duties and requirements of the Old Testament law completely fulfilled in Christ, but more than this Universal Reconciliation states that Christ died for EVERY person, past, present and future regardless whether or not they believe. Sure it is ideal to come to faith and be born-again in this life and know Jesus now, but it is not necessary for reconciliation with god. He did it all. Thus all the sins of all the people in every age, past , present and future were propitiated by christ on the cross, reconciling everyone to himself, yes, even Hitler, Dahmer, and Phelps. Some also believe that Satan will be reconciled and restored to god in the consummation of the end as well. This is a MUCH more positive and loving, (and I must say more scriptural) understanding and view of god under the new covenant. Though mainstream Christianity calls Universal Reconciliation a heresy and those who believe it are damned to hell. This blocks nearly 100% inquiry into this understanding of the New Testament. I didn't want to even look into it at first because I was so deeply programmed with the Christian status quo.

Once one also understands that 98% of English translations of the bible are translated by people who are programmed themselves with a certain theological system and that there are many places in the New Testament that are purposefully mistranslated to concur with their own theology, then you can understand that the word "hell" is never even in the New Testament. There is much to this of course, but suffice it to say that there are agendas within agendas even with translating the bible. If there is no hell in the New Testament then the current, mainstream evangelicalism and fundamentalism basically falls apart. Hell is a more generally a more treasured doctrine to Christians than redemption or reconciliation is, whether they would like to admit it or not, because without hell there is no NEED of faith in Christ.

Thus Universal Reconciliation frees the mind and heart to love Christ more or to seek other avenues of meaning in life. If I am reconciled to god whether or not I believe then I am free. Free to love Christ all the more or free to leave Christianity altogether. So this is the first way to free the minds and hearts of devout, truth seeking Christians.

The second and only other way is to expose them to the methods and means of the mind control that they are subject to. Logic and reasoning cannot penetrate their mind control and indoctrinated programming, no matter how sharp your logic is. See, knowledgeable Christians have an answer to every question that can be imagined. Their box is complete. This is why debating a devout Christian ONLY hardens them in their position. This is the nature of their control. The more you question them, the more you try to shake them from their faith, the more resolute they become. When they believe that there is an answer for EVERY question, no matter how difficult it may be, there is no way to rationally dethrone their thinking, because even though they might not have the answer - there is an answer - and thats good enough for them. This is just one part of the programmed mind of the Bible believer.

Christian mind control is based on indoctrination. Their indoctrination is, of course, based on the bible. Their understanding of the bible is based on a specific framework or system of interpretation of that bible (generally considered as theology). Their interpretation of that bible is largely based the on teaching of that interpretation by others, generally pastors, bible teachers, seminary professors, or parents, friends, or even popular Christian literature. In turn these people (pastors, teachers, seminary professors, parents, etc.) are indoctrinated by others and the cycle is continuous. This indoctrination, in order for it to be successful, must be authoritative. That is, the teaching that one receives is one of authority, either by parents or by a charismatic pastor, etc. This authoritative indoctrination, if accepted by the mind, reforms the thoughts of the person from one ideology to another or in a child's case from a blank slate. This is called Thought Reform or more generically brainwashing. Thought Reform or Brainwashing is unnoticeable in the convert since they continue to have a fully functioning free will and do not feel inadvertently coerced. They want to be taught/programmed with "the truth."

The gospel message of salvation or any other teaching by Christians that seeks to convert someone to "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" is usually a message designed to bombard the mind with the threat of eternal damnation (fear) and the reward of eternal life (joy). Evangelization, generally speaking, is psychological warfare of the mind. It is designed to confuse your current non-belief with a powerful, authoritative message of tremendous weight - eternity. Those who are in a weakened emotional or psychological state (from some inner turmoil, external stress, or even being lonely or homesick) are much easier prey to this psychological bombardment, and when it is masked with the guise of spirituality it becomes a serious burden to the Self.

When one undergoes the "born-again" experience and feels like a different person (and psychologically is) this is the mind succumbing to the psychological warfare and tremendous emotions of relief are felt and "renewal of soul" are felt because that burden, in a sense, falls through the mind of the person and is now free from it by being taken over by it. This is classic mind control. Any true research into psychological manipulation, Thought Reform and Brainwashing will reveal this very process. It is NOT a spiritual re-birth but a psychological reprogramming of the Self. There is no more powerful experience that one can undergo. Once one is programmed in this manner it is nearly impossible to be brought back or to be involuntarily deprogrammed.

The human mind is incredibly strong in many ways, yet it is weak just as much as it is strong and it is susceptible to suggestion, manipulation, and many other forms of coercion. Overt forms of control are easily thwarted, but it is the subvert or subtle forms of control that the mind is so easily turned by. If you have any question about this I recommend you watch some of the material by Derren Brown, Criss Angel, or any other talented mentalist and it is clearly evident how frightfully simple it is to control people without their knowledge. (Please see my Derren Brown videos I've uploaded to My Videos section).

When authoritative preaching is conducted, especially on a podium behind a pulpit (the elevation of the stage or podium above the congregates is a subliminal message of authority and exultation. The pulpit is also a symbol of an authoritative position) along with the "perfect and holy Word of God" this becomes an extremely powerful force upon the minds of those who are witnesses. You add the submissive rows of silent, attentive hearers and the mind is even further at risk to programming. The very sight of this kind of submissiveness and attentiveness of rows of people speaks volumes to the mind. The human mind has the tendency to "get caught up with the mob" or go along with the crowd and be swayed by what the others do. Its called the sheep mentality. You mix these powerful ingredients and you have mind control par excellence! When the preacher starts to preach the congregation goes into a specific type of hypnotism. This hypnotism keeps the congregates continually renewed in their indoctrinated programming. This is why pastors insist on members coming to worship every Sunday, because it helps to keep the sheep in line (the money flowing as well as their accolades for the ego of the pastor).

If one has a thorough understanding of this Christian mind control, what it is and how it works, one can use this knowledge to not attack their beliefs but to attack their process of mind control and help them to see the control without them feeling like their Faith is under attack. Once one comes to see the means of control and how psychological programming works then on their own they have the ability to look at the program and question it. Do you see? If one attacks their beliefs it will NEVER free them. It will in fact harden their beliefs. Though, help them to see the means of programming and they will in time question the program.

This is just a very condensed version of a book that I am currently writing on Christianity. I go into much deeper detail of the methods and means and effects of evangelical psychological programming as well as the teachings of Universal Reconciliation and the dangers and conspiracy of Dispensational theology, which is what mainstream Christianity is.

Surprise! Catholics aren't the only priests molesting kids

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 15, 2007 6:26 AM

Unfuck the World

I originally wrote this on Jun 13, 2007 08:42 AM, but I'm reposting it because I feel it needs more attention, damnit...

I found this site today and about puked, so I felt I just had to comment on it. I mean, take a minute to go there and look at those disgusting fucks on the right-hand side of the page. Bunch of baby-raping bastards.

What's really sad is that none of this gets covered in the mainstream media AT ALL. Why? Because it automatically implies that Catholic abstinence is not to blame - Christianity itself is. Any religion that is as sexually backwards and psychologically inhibitive as Christianity will inevitably lead to this kind of disturbing behavior. ("I will pray to Jesus for him to cure my lustful urges. Christ is all I need. God will give me the strength to punish myself for "thought crimes" until I drive myself into depression or psychosis, or find some secret outlet - like child abuse - for my fucked-up-ness. Never mind that psychology crap - it's of man and as such is of the Devil.")

How much longer are people going to continue to promote this two-faced religious doublethink bullshit?

How much longer are people going to support pedophilia, homophobia, sexism, racism, anti-intellectualism, and general stupidity by refusing to provide religion the strong opposition and sharp criticism it so richly deserves?!

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/

93 93/93
Hail Thyself!
Amber

What does evolution have to say about religion?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 15, 2007 8:01 AM

Rational Atheist Book Club

"What is Darwinism? It is atheism...This would be the response of today's most ardent Darwinian scourge of the religious, Richard Dawkins...If you are a Darwinian, then you ought to be an atheist, and conversely.

Not everyone thinks this way...More common...are those who want to be both evolutionists and Christians, and yet cannot bring themselves to accept what they see as the harsh and undirected nature of Darwinism...

One is tempted to let Christians – believers of any kind – fend for themselves. If they want to accept Darwinism, then it is there to be accepted. If they want to reject it on religious ground, then that is their option. But many are genuinely puzzled and concerned, and would like an answer that is not just based on the prejudice and ignorance of one side or the other...It is traditional when talking of religious beliefs to make a distinction between revealed religion and natural religion, where the former refers to the area of faith and the latter to the area of reason. For the Christian, central faith beliefs include God as creator, humans as made in the image of God and Father, Jesus an Incarnation (son of God) and Savior through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and the possibility of eternal life. For the Christian, central reason beliefs cover the traditional proofs of God's existence, and defense against counterattacks, especially including the problem of evil...let us confine the discussion to creation, the status of humans, and miracles (including the Resurrection); and on the natural side, to the most significant of the proofs, the argument from design, and the the problem of evil.

Creation can mean a number of things. For the Christian, God is creator of all things, from nothing. He is not just a designer of already-existing matter...Whether science has anything at all to say on these matters, it hardly seems that the Darwinian does...It does...speak to another sense of creation, namely, the Genesis story of creation in six days. It speaks to it and contradicts it. The world – inorganic and organic – cannot have been created in such a fashion, nor can it have been done in five to ten thousand years (as calculated from the biblical genealogies), and there cannot have been a worldwide flood through which Noah supposedly sailed with his ark of animals, or any of the other bits and pieces, like the Tower of Babel. So if your version of Christianity makes these events central and essential, then you cannot be a Darwinian."

(READ MORE HERE AND COMMENT)

Winner of a signed copy of The Science of Good and Evil will be announced on Monday!

Catholic church doing what it does best

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 15, 2007 1:38 PM

No Indoctrination

Catholic church doing what it does best

The Vatican has told people not to give money to Amnesty International. You might assume the Catholic Church was disturbed that charity money might be flowing in other directions than into its own overstuffed coffers but no, it's more than that.

Amnesty seems to have said abortion was OK in cases of rape or incest. Hardly a "woman's right to choose" argument. More of a "victim's right not to spend the rest of their life paying the price for someone else's crime" argument. I'd be very surprised if you can find more than one in a hundred non-Catholics in Western Europe who would disagree with Amnesty on that, no matter how "pro-life" they were otherwise.

According to the BBC, Roman Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

's president, Cardinal Renato Martino, described abortion as "murder".
"And to justify it selectively, in the event of rape, that is to define an innocent child in the belly of its mother as an enemy, as 'something one can destroy'," the cardinal said.

Let's forget the mother for a moment - let's think of the "innocent child". What child would benefit from having a mother who doesn't want him or her? What child would want to find out his or her father is a rapist? In any case, who is going to feed, clothe and nurture this child?

The Church? Well, it has orphanages or it can sometimes find adoptive "good Catholic" parents.. (If it weren't for the horror stories about how some nuns and priests have abused the children in their "care", you might almost think this would be the preferable option to being brought into a life where your parents favoured guilt-inducing ritual sufficiently for church adopotion agencies to accept them. Ah, they definitely wouldn't be gay though. Well that's a relief, then. Although it seems that you could never be sure the local priest wasn't a paedophile…)

Hang on a minute, I momentarily imagined that trying to fight against torture and political imprisonment and so one might represent the Christian values that they tell us atheists we lack. No, clearly, the rights of the foetus, however created, outweigh the human rights of living men, women and children.

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Something interesting I received from one of the local members. Thanks go to dEd Grimley .

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: dEd Grimley
Date: Jun 15, 2007 5:21 AM

Do you ever remember hearing about those old political machines, like Tamaney Hall, back at the start of the 1900'? If you've seen Gangs of New York, that should give you an idea.
It really seems to me that Evangelical Christians and Southern Baptists are the new political machines, forming a large block of voters for a specific party, influencing their decisions, and what have you. It's a bunch of crap, and they get away with it because they're related to a church, and everyone knows a church could never do anything wrong..........

...and another from a local member. Thanks for this one go to now.with.50%more.smartass .

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: now.with.50%more.smartass
Date: Jun 15, 2007 7:19 AM

Repost this as many times as possible today.

Today we are writing to affirm our belief that the intrinsic values that comprise the foundations of this country, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights should and still afford its citizenry its total value, uncompromising and unabridged. Therefore we set out to challenge those who would ignore the documents sworn to be defended and upheld by the very agents that trespass the boundaries defined in these documents.

It has become apparent, in recent years that the very construction of a single word in an e-mail, a phone call, a letter, or even an overheard conversation can have you placed on a "list". This list is used to identify terrorist, those who propose a threat to the country.

Fourth Amendment – Search and Seizure
In order to be valid under the Fourth Amendment, a search warrant must, inter alia, "particularly describe the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." U.S. Const. Amend. IV. The purpose of this particularity requirement is to avoid "a general, exploratory rummaging in a person's belongings." Andresen v. Maryland, 427 U.S. 463, 480, 49 L. Ed. 2d 627, 96 S. Ct. 2737 (1976) (internal quotation marks omitted); Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443, 467, 91 S.Ct. 2022, 2038, 29 L.Ed.2d 564 (1971); see generally Stanford v. Texas, 379 U.S. 476, 481-85, 13 L. Ed. 2d 431, 85 S. Ct. 506 (1965) (describing history and purpose of particularity requirement). A sufficiently particular warrant describes the items to be seized in such a manner that it leaves nothing to the discretion of the officer executing the warrant. See Marron v. United States, 275 U.S. 192, 196, 72 L. Ed. 231, 48 S. Ct. 74 (1927). Although the Court ordinarily would begin its review of the decision of the district court by determining whether it erred in concluding the warrant failed to adequately particularize the items to be seized, the Court need not address that question even if the warrant was invalid where the evidence obtained during the search nevertheless was admissible pursuant to the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule. See United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 913, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677, 104 S. Ct. 3405 (1984).

>http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/amdt4.html<

This is not a threat, it is an affirmation of our rights as citizens of the United States of America. We are aware of the Echelon Program. You work for us, we order you to stop this illegal activity.

PS. Anyone claiming " I am just following orders" should recall the Nuremberg Trials.

-SCK!!!

These are some of the words:
Waihopai, INFOSEC, Information Security, Information Warfare, IW, IS, Priavacy, Information Terrorism, Terrorism Defensive Information, Defense Information Warfare, Offensive Information, Offensive Information Warfare, National Information Infrastructure, InfoSec, Reno, Compsec, Computer Terrorism, Firewalls, Secure Internet Connections, ISS, Passwords, DefCon V, Hackers, Encryption, Espionage, USDOJ, NSA, CIA, S/Key, SSL, FBI, Secert Service, USSS, Defcon, Military, White House, Undercover, NCCS, Mayfly, PGP, PEM, RSA, Perl-RSA, MSNBC, bet, AOL, AOL TOS, CIS, CBOT, AIMSX, STARLAN, 3B2, BITNET, COSMOS, DATTA, E911, FCIC, HTCIA, IACIS, UT/RUS, JANET, JICC, ReMOB, LEETAC, UTU, VNET, BRLO, BZ, CANSLO, CBNRC, CIDA, JAVA, Active X, Compsec 97, LLC, DERA, Mavricks, Meta-hackers, ^?, Steve Case, Tools, Telex, Military Intelligence, Scully, Flame, Infowar, Bubba, Freeh, Archives, Sundevil, jack, Investigation, ISACA, NCSA, spook words, Verisign, Secure, ASIO, Lebed, ICE, NRO, Lexis-Nexis, NSCT, SCIF, FLiR, Lacrosse, Flashbangs, HRT, DIA, USCOI, CID, BOP, FINCEN, FLETC, NIJ, ACC, AFSPC, BMDO, NAVWAN, NRL, RL, NAVWCWPNS, NSWC, USAFA, AHPCRC, ARPA, LABLINK, USACIL, USCG, NRC, ~, CDC, DOE, FMS, HPCC, NTIS, SEL, USCODE, CISE, SIRC, CIM, ISN, DJC, SGC, UNCPCJ, CFC, DREO, CDA, DRA, SHAPE, SACLANT, BECCA, DCJFTF, HALO, HAHO, FKS, 868, GCHQ, DITSA, SORT, AMEMB, NSG, HIC, EDI, SAS, SBS, UDT, GOE, DOE, GEO, Masuda, Forte, AT, GIGN, Exon Shell, CQB, CONUS, CTU, RCMP, GRU, SASR, GSG-9, 22nd SAS, GEOS, EADA, BBE, STEP, Echelon, Dictionary, MD2, MD4, MDA, MYK, 747,777, 767, MI5, 737, MI6, 757, Kh-11, Shayet-13, SADMS, Spetznaz, Recce, 707, CIO, NOCS, Halcon, Duress, RAID, Psyops, grom, D-11, SERT, VIP, ARC, S.E.T. Team, MP5k, DREC, DEVGRP, DF, DSD, FDM, GRU, LRTS, SIGDEV, NACSI, PSAC, PTT, RFI, SIGDASYS, TDM. SUKLO, SUSLO, TELINT, TEXTA. ELF, LF, MF, VHF, UHF, SHF, SASP, WANK, Colonel, domestic disruption, smuggle, 15kg, nitrate, Pretoria, M-14, enigma, Bletchley Park, Clandestine, nkvd, argus, afsatcom, CQB, NVD, Counter Terrorism Security, Rapid Reaction, Corporate Security, Police, sniper, PPS, ASIS, ASLET, TSCM, Security Consulting, High Security, Security Evaluation, Electronic Surveillance, MI-17, Counterterrorism, spies, eavesdropping, debugging, interception, COCOT, rhost, rhosts, SETA, Amherst, Broadside, Capricorn, Gamma, Gorizont, Guppy, Ionosphere, Mole, Keyhole, Kilderkin, Artichoke, Badger, Cornflower, Daisy, Egret, Iris, Hollyhock, Jasmine, Juile, Vinnell, B.D.M.,Sphinx, Stephanie, Reflection, Spoke, Talent, Trump, FX, FXR, IMF, POCSAG, Covert Video, Intiso, r00t, lock picking, Beyond Hope, csystems, passwd, 2600 Magazine, Competitor, EO, Chan, Alouette,executive, Event Security, Mace, Cap-Stun, stakeout, ninja, ASIS, ISA, EOD, Oscor, Merlin, NTT, SL-1, Rolm, TIE, Tie-fighter, PBX, SLI, NTT, MSCJ, MIT, 69, RIT, Time, MSEE, Cable & Wireless, CSE, Embassy, ETA, Porno, Fax, finks, Fax encryption, white noise, pink noise, CRA, M.P.R.I., top secret, Mossberg, 50BMG, Macintosh Security, Macintosh Internet Security, Macintosh Firewalls, Unix Security, VIP Protection, SIG, sweep, Medco, TRD, TDR, sweeping, TELINT, Audiotel, Harvard, 1080H, SWS, Asset, Satellite imagery, force, Cypherpunks, Coderpunks, TRW, remailers, replay, redheads, RX-7, explicit, FLAME, Pornstars, AVN, Playboy, Anonymous, Sex, chaining, codes, Nuclear, 20, subversives, SLIP, toad, fish, data havens, unix, c, a, b, d, the, Elvis, quiche, DES, 1*, NATIA, NATOA, sneakers, counterintelligence, industrial espionage, PI, TSCI, industrial intelligence, H.N.P., Juiliett Class Submarine, Locks, loch, Ingram Mac-10, sigvoice, ssa, E.O.D., SEMTEX, penrep, racal, OTP, OSS, Blowpipe, CCS, GSA, Kilo Class, squib, primacord, RSP, Becker, Nerd, fangs, Austin, Comirex, GPMG, Speakeasy, humint, GEODSS, SORO, M5, ANC, zone, SBI, DSS, S.A.I.C., Minox, Keyhole, SAR, Rand Corporation, Wackenhutt, EO, Wackendude, mol, Hillal, GGL, CTU, botux, Virii, CCC, Blacklisted 411, Internet Underground, XS4ALL, Retinal Fetish, Fetish, Yobie, CTP, CATO, Phon-e, Chicago Posse, l0ck, spook keywords, PLA, TDYC, W3, CUD, CdC, Weekly World News, Zen, World Domination, Dead, GRU, M72750, Salsa, 7, Blowfish, Gorelick, Glock, Ft. Meade, press-release, Indigo, wire transfer, e-cash, Bubba the Love Sponge, Digicash, zip, SWAT, Ortega, PPP, crypto-anarchy, AT&T, SGI, SUN, MCI, Blacknet, Middleman, KLM, Blackbird, plutonium, Texas, jihad, SDI, Uzi, Fort Meade, supercomputer, bullion, 3, Blackmednet, Propaganda, ABC, Satellite phones, Planet-1, cryptanalysis, nuclear, FBI, Panama, fissionable, Sears Tower, NORAD, Delta Force, SEAL, virtual, Dolch, secure shell, screws, Black-Ops, Area51, SABC, basement, data-haven, black-bag, TEMPSET, Goodwin, rebels, ID, MD5, IDEA, garbage, market, beef, Stego, unclassified, utopia, orthodox, Alica, SHA, Global, gorilla, Bob, Pseudonyms, MITM, Gray Data, VLSI, mega, Leitrim, Yakima, Sugar Grove, Cowboy, Gist, 8182, Gatt, Platform, 1911, Geraldton, UKUSA, veggie, 3848, Morwenstow, Consul, Oratory, Pine Gap, Menwith, Mantis, DSD, BVD, 1984, Flintlock, cybercash, government, hate, speedbump, illuminati, president, freedom, cocaine, $, Roswell, ESN, COS, E.T., credit card, b9, fraud, assasinate, virus, anarchy, rogue, mailbomb, 888, Chelsea, 1997, Whitewater, MOD, York, plutonium, William Gates, clone, BATF, SGDN, Nike, Atlas, Delta, TWA, Kiwi, PGP 2.6.2., PGP 5.0i, PGP 5.1, siliconpimp, Lynch, 414, Face, Pixar, IRIDF, eternity server, Skytel, Yukon, Templeton, LUK, Cohiba, Soros, Standford, niche, 51, H&K, USP, ^, sardine, bank, EUB, USP, PCS, NRO, Red Cell, Glock 26, snuffle, Patel, package, ISI, INR, INS, IRS, GRU, RUOP, GSS, NSP, SRI, Ronco, Armani, BOSS, Chobetsu, FBIS, BND, SISDE, FSB, BfV, IB, froglegs, JITEM, SADF, advise, TUSA, HoHoCon, SISMI, FIS, MSW, Spyderco, UOP, SSCI, NIMA, MOIS, SVR, SIN, advisors, SAP, OAU, PFS, Aladdin, chameleon man, Hutsul, CESID, Bess, rail gun, Peering, 17, 312, NB, CBM, CTP, Sardine, SBIRS, SGDN, ADIU, DEADBEEF, IDP, IDF, Halibut, SONANGOL, Flu, &, Loin, PGP 5.53, EG&G, AIEWS, AMW, WORM, MP5K-SD, 1071, WINGS, cdi, DynCorp, UXO, Ti, THAAD, package, chosen, PRIME, SURVIAC,UFO

FBI CIA NSA IRS ATF BATF DOD WACO RUBY RIDGE OKC OKLAHOMA CITY MILITIA GUN HANDGUN MILGOV ASSAULT RIFLE TERRORISM BOMB DRUG HORIUCHI KORESH DAVIDIAN KAHL POSSE COMITATUS RANDY WEAVER VICKIE WEAVER SPECIAL FORCES LINDA THOMPSON SPECIAL OPERATIONS GROUP SOG SOF DELTA FORCE CONSTITUTION BILL OF RIGHTS WHITEWATER POM PARK ON METER ARKANSIDE IRAN CONTRAS OLIVER NORTH VINCE FOSTER PROMIS MOSSAD NASA MI5 ONI CID AK47 M16 C4 MALCOLM X REVOLUTION CHEROKEE HILLARY BILL CLINTON GORE GEORGE BUSH WACKENHUT TERRORIST TASK FORCE 160 SPECIAL OPS 12TH GROUP 5TH GROUP SF

A call for Impeachment!!!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Dangerous Talk
Date: Jun 15, 2007 5:00 AM

Barack Obama is this week's YouTube Spotlight candidate. Here is his video question:






And here is DangerousTalk's Response:






I also would like to spotlight someone else's response to Senator Obama this week. Here is Davis Fleetwood's response which I think is outstanding:






Oh, and one more video that I would like to spotlight in relation to YouTube spotlight:






-Staks
Posted by your friends at Dangerous Talk

A Cincinnati local paper reacts to Ken Ham's Folly

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 15, 2007 1:56 PM

Dan Date: Jun 15, 2007 5:46 PM

A Cincinnati local paper reacts to Ken Ham's Folly

A Cincinnati news weekly, the City Beat, has weighed in on the Creation "Museum". They don't seem to like it.

Here are some of the good quotes from the article.

Gene Kritsky, biologist:

it's almost like intellectual molestation.

Not only is it bad science, it is filled with bad religion, and it's also bad sociology and bad history, too.

Lawrence Krauss, physicist:

This is an institution designed to mis-educate children.

This is nothing but an institutionalized lie and a scientific fraud.

Edwin Kagin, lawyer:

What they are doing is no less an attack on the very way that science and enlightened thought works to produce the modern world. They want to substitute mythology for knowledge. Ignorance is a form of terrorism.

The local paper, The Cincinnati Post:

Frankly, we wish the Genesis museum had been built somewhere else. We wish the 250,000 men, women and especially children expected to visit this year were getting a view of science that comports with what science really knows about the world. Why? Because Greater Cincinnati is trying so hard to market itself, nationally and internationally as a hospitable home for a knowledge economy.

At least, I get the impression it's not a favorable review. Maybe I need to read between the lines a little more carefully.

Read the comments on this post...

Brownback wants to prevent rape victims from having abortion

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Secret Delusion
Date: Jun 15, 2007 5:41 PM

Thanks to:
Dan
Elizabeth Cady
Susan B.
No Indoctrination
Substance D
TPO

Click the pic below to read this blog!

http://www.pollyticks.com/media/1/brownback.jpg

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This Land!
|Funny Jokes at JibJab

Right In Two....

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Ω
Date: Jun 15, 2007 4:46 AM

Angels on the sideline,
Puzzled and amused.
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they're all confused.

Don't these talking monkeys know that
Eden has enough to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden, silly monkeys,
Where there's one you're bound to divide it.
Right in two.

Angels on the sideline,
Baffled and confused.
Father blessed them all with reason.
And this is what they choose.
And this is what they choose...

Monkey killing monkey killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They forge a blade,
And where there's one
they're bound to divide it,
Right in two.
Right in two.

Monkey killing monkey killing monkey.
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs.
They make a club.
And beat their brother, down.
How they survive so misguided is a mystery.

Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here.

Cut it all right in two

Fight over the clouds, over wind, over sky
Fight over life, over blood, over prayer,
overhead and light
Fight over love, over sun,
over another, Fight...

Angels on the sideline again.
Been soon long with patience and reason.
Angels on the sideline again
Wondering when this tug of war will end.

Cut it all right in two
RIGHT IN TWO!

Right in two...

Good to be in DC!
|Funny Jokes at JibJab

The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.