#0023 RRS Newsletter for June 28, 2007

hellfiend666's picture






Myspace seems to be cencoring me now. I tried to post three things today and none have gone through. So now I may have to resort to putting these up through an intermediate. I am thinking about starting an e-mail based newsletter, as well, or maybe advocating a mass "exodus" (to use an ironic term) from myspace to another social networking site. I have a couple in mind at the moment.

Feedback on this would be greatly appreciated, and much thanks go to all of you have been reading and supporting this endeavor. I have been enjoying this project and would like it to continue, so you can respond to me directly HERE to give me your comments and suggestions. I would like to hear from the people who have been reading and enjoying these.

I also have been a little busy the last couple days entertaining an out of state visitor. Way to much alcohol was consumed to assemble a coherent newsletter for the last couple days. (Contrary to popular belief, I do have a life! lol)

Thanks for reading, and understanding,
Jack,
and the RRS MI team

Table of Contents

Rational Response Squad News

RRS Michigan News

Science News

My contributions for today Complete Neanderthal Genome Possible You're not who you were. Human-like altruism shown in chimps

Religion

My contributions for today The Present Threat of the Religious Right.... Stupid Design And god so loved the world My advise for Muslims: LIGHTEN UP! More creationist junk!!!

Government

My contributions for today Supreme Court nixes suit over faith-based plan Bong Hits for the Supreme Court Urgent! Call Your Representative Now

Community

My contributions for today The "Ignorant Fury" of Atheists Fox News asks priest about atheism--who else would they ask?

Entertainment

My contributions for today Owned. Tribute to Kent Hovind (homegrown comedy gold!)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here is our youtube channel, view it before we're banned for rocking the boat!

Challenge to married Christian couples to abstain from murdering millions of potential humans.

Here is our burqa challenge video, referenced in the video below.

Question for muslim woman who wears burqa:

Why the double standard?

What should the next big Rational Response Squad project be?

Talk about this topic on our message board instead.

Sapient would admit his mother to a mental hospital if...

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The first RRS MI meeting

The first meeting for the Rational Response Squad Michigan chapter, a 4th of July BBQ party!

Hosted By: Jack Wynne
When: Wednesday Jul 04, 2007
at 2:00 PM
Where: Jacks house
321 Central
Inkster, MI 48141
United States
Description:
This will be an informal event, a chance for us to meet an discuss what we want to see out of this chapter. This will be a BYOB event, but I will be cooking the main courses, including baby back ribs, various grillable fish, chicken, some game, burgers, and hot dogs. If anyone feels so inclined to bring a side dish to add to the spread, I will not object! Space to crash for those who may need it will be available, so I hope to see all of you locals here! You schmucks in Canada and Ohio too!

Click Here To View Event

Back to Table of Contents

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hubble Space Telescope - Chapter 8

Hubble Space Telescope - Chapter 9 pt.1

Hubble Space Telescope Chapter 9 pt.2

Carl Sagan on birth of Science

Back to Table of Contents

Complete Neanderthal Genome Possible

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 26, 2007 2:07 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Invisible Pink Unicorn
Date: Jun 25, 2007 9:13 PM

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer
Mon Jun 25, 5:00 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Researchers studying Neanderthal DNA say it should be possible to construct a complete genome of the ancient hominid despite the degradation of the DNA over time.

There is also hope for reconstructing the genome of the mammoth and cave bear, according to a research team led by Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Their findings are published in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Debate has raged for years about whether there is any relationship between Neanderthals and modern humans. Some researchers believe that Neanderthals were simply replaced by early modern humans, while others argue the two groups may have interbred.

Sequencing the genome of Neanderthals, who lived in Europe until about 30,000 years ago, could shed some light on that question.

In studies of Neanderthals, cave bear and mammoth, a majority of the DNA recovered was that of microorganisms that colonized the tissues after death, the researchers said.

But they were able to identify some DNA from the original animal, and Paabo and his colleagues were able to determine how it broke down over time. They also developed procedures to prevent contamination by the DNA of humans working with the material.

"We are confident that it will be technically feasible to achieve a reliable Neanderthal genome sequence," Paabo and his researchers reported.

They said problem of damaged areas in some DNA could be overcome by using a sufficient amount of Neanderthal DNA from different individuals, so the whole genome can be determined.

"The contamination and degradation of DNA has been a serious issue for the last 10 years," observed Erik Trinkaus, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis. "This is a serious attempt to deal with that issue and that's welcome."

"I'm not sure they have completely solved the problem, but they've made a big step in that direction," said Trinkaus, who was not involved in the research.

Anthropologist Richard Potts of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, called the work "a very significant technical study of DNA decay."

The researchers "have tried to answer important questions about the potential to sequence ancient DNA," said Potts, who was not part of the research.

Milford Wolpoff, a University of Michigan Anthropologist, said creating a complete Neanderthal genome is a great goal.

But it is "sample intensive," he said, and he isn't sure enough DNA is available to complete the work. Curators don't like to see their specimens ground up, he said.

The research was funded by the Max Planck Society and the National Institutes of Health.

___

On the Net:

PNAS: http://www.pnas.org

The A-Team and we approve this message.

Back to Table of Contents

You're not who you were.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Human evolution
Date: Jun 26, 2007 7:08 PM

Tell me - Who are you. Really?

Peer within yourself and you'll find that you're made of molecules. Peer further and these molecules are made of atoms.
Go even further, and the atoms are made of protons, neutrons and electrons - elementary particles dancing a cosmic dance.

But go one step deeper and now you're no longer matter - but energy.

Everything is made up of this Universal Energy. Including you.

The scientist Steve Grand wrote the following:

"Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell,
as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren't you? How else would you remember it?

But here is the bombshell: you weren't there. Not a single atom that is your body today was there when that event took place....
Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff
of which you are made. If that doesn't make the hair stand at the back of you neck, read it again until it does, because it is important"




-Richard Dawkins recited this excerpt from Steve Grand in a recent lecture.

Back to Table of Contents

Human-like altruism shown in chimps

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 26, 2007 7:16 PM

Damned Goods

From:
The A-Team
Brian the Dilettante
Jussi K. Niemelä



Debates about altruism are often based on the assumption that it is either unique to humans or else the human version differs from that of other animals in important ways. Thus, only humans are supposed to act on behalf of others, even toward genetically unrelated individuals, without personal gain, at a cost to themselves. Studies investigating such behaviors in nonhuman primates, especially our close relative the chimpanzee, form an important contribution to this debate.

This week in PLoS Biology, Felix Warneken and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology present experimental evidence that chimpanzees act altruistically toward genetically unrelated conspecifics.

In addition, in two comparative experiments, they found that both chimpanzees and human infants helped altruistically regardless of any expectation of reward, even when some effort was required, and even when the recipient was an unfamiliar individual—all features previously thought to be unique to humans.

The evolutionary roots of human altruism may thus go deeper than previously thought, reaching as far back as the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. In a related article, Frans de Waal discusses the issues brought out by this discovery.

Source: Public Library of Science


We are The A-Team and we approve this message.

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Present Threat of the Religious Right....

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Rational Response Squad Tennessee
Date: Jun 26, 2007 4:19 PM

'The Present Threat of the Religious Right to Our Modern Freedoms' by Edward Tabash















Back to Table of Contents

Stupid Design...

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 26, 2007 5:16 PM

Darwin takes on religion (literally)

The whole edifice of ID rests on the natural human tendency to give "Goddidit" an automatic mulligan from any further explanation, while demanding that any naturalistic explanation be fully validated at each step from beginning to end.

As humans, the pattern-detectors of our brains are wired to easily spot the human, even where it doesn't exist. Lightning? Obviously, the weapon of Zeus, who looks a lot like a Greek athlete throwing a javelin. OK, Zeus is out of fashion, so clearly Yahweh operates the Department of Lightning.

In order to convince people that lightning is not the weapon of some "person in the sky," scientists starting with Ben Franklin had to demonstrate experimentally that lightning is electricity in motion, provide complete theories of how clouds generate lightning, how "electricity" works, and so on. No one ever had to provide any description of how Zeus or Yahweh went about generating lightning, how they aimed it, etc.

Being human ourselves, we have a pretty good implicit understanding of how humans do things. Ask how the light bulb came to be, and it's easy to understand "ThomasEdisondidit" as an explanation, even if we have no idea how we'd go about constructing a light bulb from scratch ourselves. We've all made things ourselves, so we have what seems to be a pretty good understanding of how "ID" works.

So, ID'ers bring up a case like bacterial flagella or bombardier beetles. If the evolutionists can't explain in exhaustive detail every single step of the evolutionary process with complete fossil documatiation, then there's a "mystery." So, when they say "Evolution can't explain this! God must have did it!" it seems to make sense without further explanation.

"God" is basically a human with magic powers. We all know you don't have to explain how magic works, it just does. The wizard waves a wand, and *bling!* stuff happens. That's what makes it "magic" instead of physics or engineering. So, when the ID'er says "Goddidit," it's very easy for the human mind to imagine a Merlin in his lab drawing up plans for flagellum motors, stirring some bubbly potion with his wand, and *kazaam!* flagellum motors exist. As humans born with a tendency to assume humanness first ("What's that sound? A burglar! No...just the wind--whew!"), the "human explanation" seems almost self-evident. Flagellum motors were made by a super-human. End of story.

Evolution, being a non-human, naturalistic process, is not automatically, intuitively understood by humans as human action is. In order for a human to accept it, a whole lot of scientific explanation is necessary. This applies equally well to any other natural process. Explaining the movements of the planets of the solar system scientifically required the Principia Mathematica. The theory that the planets were carried around by angels or held aloft on the shoulders of Atlas needed no explanation at all to seem credible.

ID'ers and Creationists are able to take advantage of this limitation of human consciousness by adopting a one-sided uber-skepticism with regard to naturalistic theories. "OK, Mr. Evolutionist, explain the bacterial flagellum! Well...um...alright, but what about the metamorphosis of the Monarch butterfly? Betcha can't explain how that 'just evolved!'" And so on, until they find something evolutionists haven't explained yet. Barring the achievement of human omniscience, sooner or later they'll stumble upon an unanswered question.

Then, it's "Ha! Evolution can't explain that! Therefore, Goddidit!" Triumphant, their uber-skepticism immediately vanishes, replaced by unquestioning acceptance. However, if their own theory were held to the same standards as a naturalistic theory, its emptiness would be immediately evident.

Scientist: "You propose an 'Intelligent Designer' as the central explanatory mechanism of your theory. Is this a human being?"

ID: "No, of course not. We...ah...don't really like to talk about our Designer much. We just...you know...sorta hope you'll automatically assume it's the Christian God without really thinking about it."

Scientist: "So your Designer is not an entity that is a part of this universe, like an extraterrestrial being?"

ID: "Well, no, because the Designer created the Universe as well. Look at those finely-tuned cosmological constants! Don't know how those got to be that way, do you? A Designer must have done it!" >does victory dance<

Scientist: "So your Designer exists in some other dimension. Where is this other dimension? How does it interact with our universe? Can you provide any equations or physics experiments showing how the existence of this other dimension fits with quantum mechanics and relativity?"

ID: "Um..."

Scientist: "If this other dimension is not a universe like this one with the same physical operating principles, what is it like? How do things work there? What is your Intelligent Designer made of? How does it perceive events taking place in our universe? We know that when we observe quantum particles, the act of observation affects the particles. Can you provide a mathematically rigorous description of how your Designer can observe quantum particles in a way that does not affect them (since we cannot detect any effects of your Designer's observation of quantum events)?

ID: "Er...the Designer is outside of time...um...we just don't ask stuff like that. There's a real nice church a couple blocks down the street from here..."

Scientist: "How would such a being select and set cosmological constants for a universe it was going to create? Can you provide a rigorous mathematical description of how something like that would be done? Are there creatures with "motors" in the Designers dimension? Are there proteins and acids, or lipid-walls? If not, how did your Designer come up with things like that in the first place? I mean, could you design a device that would work in some other dimension where all the principles of physics work differently than they do here?"

ID: "What part of 'Goddidit' don't you understand?!"

Scientist: "All of it. You want me to specify exactly how every single protein of a bacterial flagellum could evolve in mathematically rigorous and evidentially validated scientific papers. That's fine, it's my job. But if you want to call yourself a scientist, then you need to do the same with your theory. You haven't provided anything like a scientific model of what your 'Designer' is supposed to be, what his, her, or its native cosmos is supposed to be like, how that cosmos interacts with ours so that your 'Designer' can do anything here to begin with, where your 'Designer' or its cosmos came from, how your 'Designer' can design things like cosmological constants and flagellum motors for a cosmos entirely different from its own...or for that matter, why there's only one Designer! How do you know there's not ten of them--or billions?"


Intelligent Design "theory" rests on two pillars, without which it would not exist at all:

1) "Designer" is used with a capital-D and in the singular, counting on you to automatically assume "the Christian God" without the ID'ers having to come out and say it.

2) Scientists must rigorously explain and validate their theories against a steep ramp of hyper-skepticism, but ID'ers get an auto-mulligan: their explanations are sufficient if they consist of only four words: "The Designer did it."

Kevin Krady
poster extraordinaire at www.whywontgodhealamputees.com/forum

Back to Table of Contents

And god so loved the world

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 26, 2007 5:40 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Eddie
Date: Jun 26, 2007 11:50 AM


From: Cheryl



An appeal to human decency, and a challenge to abandon faulty dogmas.








We are The A-Team and we approve this message.

Back to Table of Contents

My advise for Muslims: LIGHTEN UP!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 27, 2007 7:04 AM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Freethinker's Forum
Date: Jun 26, 2007 11:21 PM


From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: 26 Jun 2007, 17:33


Think fast.Look alive.Die hard.

There is no doubt in my mind that they will bring about the end of this world.








We are The A-Team and we approve this message.

Back to Table of Contents

More creationist junk !!!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Way of the Monster
Date: Jun 27, 2007 12:19 PM

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Supreme Court nixes suit over faith-based plan

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 26, 2007 5:12 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Cheryl
Date: Jun 25, 2007 12:50 PM


MSNBC


We are The A-Team and we approve this message.

Bong Hits for the Supreme Court

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Dangerous Talk
Date: Jun 27, 2007 2:41 AM


This bulletin has been posted by your friends at Dangerous Talk:

Back to Table of Contents

Urgent! Call Your Representative Now

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Atheist Activists
Date: Jun 27, 2007 9:28 PM

June 27, 2007

Call Your Representative Now to Oppose More Funding for DC Vouchers
Sources on the Hill have just informed us that Rep. Tom Davis may offer an amendment on the House floor to the Financial Services Appropriations bill that would increase funding for the Washington, DC private school voucher program. Congress implemented this federally-funded voucher program in 2004, despite overwhelming opposition from DC residents. Just a year later, a Department of Education Study found that 43% of vouchers in the program went to students who were already attending private schools.

Private schools should be funded with private funds. DC does not need more money for a private school voucher program.

Please call your Representative right away and urge him/her to vote against the Davis Amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations bill.

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Suggested Message:

“I urge Representative _______ to VOTE NO on the Davis Amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations bill. Tax dollars should be used to support public education, not private school vouchers.”

Thank you for your activism!

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Arrogant Atheists?!

Back to Table of Contents

The "Ignorant Fury" of Atheists

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 26, 2007 5:06 PM

Jeff

(Article is below)

We should ask her what Ignorant Fury really means...and wouldn't you know it she is on myspace...

Carole McDonnell on Myspace

She picked a real bad time to attack atheists, We're not in the mood right now to be lectured to by a fanatical Xian.

Atheists and Their Ignorant Fury Against Faith-Based Charities

Written by Carole McDonnell

Published June 25, 2007

The Supreme Court just ruled on Monday, June 25, that the atheists and agnostics had “no standing” to bring a complaint against the government for creating a funding protocol for faith-based charities. I’ve been listening to them all morning as they complain that evil religious people will be taking over the world. They say we will use “charity” to preach our faith and that we will break down the wall between church and state. And, they say, if this happens who knows what will happen to our beloved democracy? Ah come on! The United States has a reputation for being a very religious country, yet our borders are continually open to people of all religions. We don’t forbid people of different faiths from becoming citizens. Nor do Christians prevent people of different faiths from enjoying the American way of life.

American atheists and agnostics like equating organized religion (especially Christianity) with evil, forgetting that Stalin and Mao Tse Tung performed their share of murderous atrocities, and that Hitler did not belong to any organized religion but was a lover of the occult and the just-plain-weird. Every time I hear some atheist or agnostic complaining about how “Christian faith-based charities” threaten to, I think of the YMCA, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Save the Children and the Christian Children's Fund. These are just a few of the faith-based charities in the United States. I have yet to see these groups deny aid to anyone because of a difference in faith.

In fact, of all the food pantries and shelters in my little town, most are faith-based. The Salvation Army, for instance, has many food pantries and kitchens throughout the country. As do churches small and large. The only non-faith-based homeless shelter in my town couldn’t feed the amount of people who — at the end of the month — find themselves hungry and foodless. So why shouldn’t the faith-based pantries be helped out a bit by government funding?

The atheists and agnostics who brought the lawsuit against the White House don’t seem to want to acknowledge that many companies and organizations were created by people with faith and after a while proved so successful they became more secular. Again, the Salvation Army is an example of an organization that began as a religious charity or in the mind of a religious person — yet which is widely respected among secular organizations. The YMHA (Young Men Hebrew Association) and YMCA (Young Men Christian Association) began as religious organizations but now are more like cultural organizations now, rather than religious ones.

There are also organizations created by people of faith which were never ever religious at anytime during their history. Yes, people of faith can create community programs that don’t preach or advertise or proselytize. For instance, about thirty years ago four black women — one of them a minister — created the Peekskill Area Health Center. They were women of faith, and their purpose grew because of their faith that God wanted them to create a place which provided medical care for the poor. They have now created a multi-county secular organization, Hudson River Healthcare, that gives health care to countless of the underserved, migrant workers who work in the agricultural areas of upstate New York, immigrants, (legal or otherwise), in our urban area and in surrounding rural counties. And they even give out condoms. They aren’t out to preach to anyone about sexual abstinence, and they have no conservative agenda towards immigrants. Nor do they prevent people from getting services because of religious issues.

Even those faith-based charities which seem suspect provide charity to all people without preaching.

For instance: Although pro-life and originally created by a religious person, Birthright doesn’t get involved in politics at all. Unlike Planned Parenthood which was created from Margaret Sanger’s racist eugenicist heart and which is responsible for so many abortions that have decimated our minority populations. Birthright cares for poor women who have no money to take care of their children. Many Birthright agencies also provide counseling for the countless women who have been emotionally scarred because of abortions. Planned Parenthood doesn’t have any post-abortion counseling programs for the women whose lives are devastated by abortions.

Another examples of a faith-based charity that doesn’t preach and that keeps faith separated from charity is the Christian Children’s Fund. That organization takes care of poor children in the United States and all over the world without regard to the recipient’s religious faith. I, for example, have sponsored three children over the past two decades. They were primarily Moslems or Hindus but did I care? No! I just wanted the kids to be fed and housed.

The United States ranks among the top "charitable" countries. Three-quarters of charity donations are sent by individuals. Of the individuals who donate, the majority are religious Christians. Of the organizations receiving donations, most are Christian organizations. Certainly atheists aren't in the habit of giving a tenth of their income (and more) to the poor.

The atheists and agnostics who are so furious about God, religious people, and faith-based charities are simply bent on not seeing the obvious truth which is that, whatever they may think of those people who are “deluded” by religion, we “deluded” are generous, noble, hearted, fair, and above all…quite capable of helping people without preaching to them.

Perhaps they're afraid of acknowledging that religious people can be kind and organized because it comes too close to acknowledging that there is a kind and organized God in the universe.

Back to Table of Contents

Fox News asks priest about atheism--who else would they ask?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 27, 2007 11:22 AM

Does that anchorwoman really not know where babies come from?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Cheryl
Date: Jun 27, 2007 1:48 PM












We are The A-Team and we fairly certain Dawkins made it clear that he wasn't ruling out the possibility of a god.

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Owned.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Human evolution
Date: Jun 26, 2007 6:17 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Observer
Date: Jun 26, 2007 6:09 PM


GOD I wish I had a president like this! Laugh MY ASS OFF Rolling ON FLOOOr
jajajajajaja
Do you know your """HOLY""" Bible?

thanks ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: 26 Jun 2007, 19:12


Cheryl

The reference to Dr.Laura Schlessinger is obvious




Tribute to Kent Hovind (homegrown comedy gold!)

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 27, 2007 5:25 PM

RabidApe [does not have imaginary friends]




song by EJ Russo.
http://youtube.com/user/eddygoombah

acoustic version:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=MO9ukxGzmkw

video by ChrisBoe4ever:
http://uk.youtube.com/user/Chrisboe4ever

download the song:
http://www.atheistunderground.org/tribute_to_kent.php

Back to Table of Contents

The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.