Iconoclasts Anonymous

Inane ravings of an irreverent slacker

Scientific dogma concerning origins of life proven wrong by…. Science.

Posted by Jeff on February 4, 2010

More often than not when discussing/debating religious, ‘spiritual’, or otherwise fluffy people I get accused of having ‘faith’ in science the same way a fundamentalist has faith in Jesus. This most often comes up in the evolution/abiogenesis debate. See, creationists like to build this strawman ‘scientist’ who only believes in what she can see right in front of her, and then accuse said scientist of following a dogma when they profess acceptance of evolution. Apparently since we can’t watch evolution happen in real-time in front of our eyes it requires ‘faith’. Naturally, when you try explaining the evidence of the fossil record and genetic mapping and the myriad of reasons we accept evolution, they simply plug their ears and sing like an obstinant child.

So, for all of those who think that science is a ‘religion’ of its own, I present this story. It looks like the ‘holy writ’ of science has been proven wrong! It turns out that the origins of life on Earth most likely did not develope from a primordial soup as previously believed, but was spurred on through the chemical energy of the Earth itself through hydrothermal vents in the ocean.  A bit of scientific lore, having been accepted for over 80 years, was recently proven wrong. So, I guess we should take a moment to acknowledge that the creationists were right in exposing the erroneous views that we all…. Wait… What’s that you say?? This flawed knowledge wasn’t exposed by religion at all? It was scientists that overturned 8 decades of cannon??? Interesting…

See folks, that is the big flaw in the ‘science as religion’ argument. Science is not a set of beliefs, but merely a tool to uncover the nature of the world around us. The knowledge we gain through application of science is not perfect, but it is continually correcting and improving on itself. There is no scientific axiom – from the theory of evolution to Newton’s Laws – which will not be instantly questioned or even rejected in the light of compelling and rigorous evidence. When it a scientific notion is discovered to be wrong, then that notion gets changed to fit reality. Can the same be said for religion? How can it be considered a virtue that knowledge doesn’t change over the centuries?

Posted in science, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Phred Phelps is a Phucking Phreak

Posted by Jeff on January 31, 2010

The cast and crew of Westboro Baptist Church visited my campus on Friday. From my understanding they were here to protest Jews and Homos at the Hillel Center, a Jewish student spiritual center. For the record, religiosity on the Stanford campus is pretty low-key. I mean, it’s there, and this being California there is no shortage of wacky hippie-dippie spirit mumbo-jumbo, but for the most part everyone is extremely respectful of differing opinions. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bigotry | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Atheist Vitriol

Posted by Jeff on January 24, 2010

You know, there are few things more annoying than being accused – by someone I barely know – of being closed-minded and ‘militant’ just because they find out I’m an atheist. I’ve been called a fundamentalist. I’ve been asked why I want to convert people to atheism. Now, if I had demonstrated any of the behaviors indicative of these traits I’d understand, but these accusations are always made – 100% of the time – based solely on the information that I identify as atheist.

Here is one of the biggest reasons that atheists always seem so angry. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Atheism | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Blogging… Redux

Posted by Jeff on January 18, 2010

So, as anyone who might still follow this blog has possibly noticed, I haven’t been very diligent with updating recently. In fact, I think it’s been 4 months since my last entry! I’m going to try to change this and post here at least a couple times a week from now on. I can’t guarantee that they will all be terribly compelling posts or extremely content-heavy, but I’ll try!

Starting with today. I wanted to mention something we were discussing in my lab class this quarter dealing with publishing scientific data and papers. One of the most important parts of writing a paper to be published in a peer-reviewed journal is properly performing the data analysis. To be even more specific, it’s properly performing error analysis on your data. Read the rest of this entry »

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Open for criticism

Posted by Jeff on September 10, 2009

A while back I posted the first draft of a paper I was writing on scientific credibility. I had promised to also post the final draft when I was finished but then I forgot and went on with my life. Well, for anyone who is interested, here is the final draft that I turned in. I’d very much apprectiate any comments or criticism on my approach and/or writing style. I’d love to hear from anyone who has something to say, so read it after the fold and hold nothing back.

Read the rest of this entry »

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An update.

Posted by Jeff on September 3, 2009

But this update will make most rational-minded people want to tear their hair out. I came across this article written by none other than Ben Stein on the Pharyngula blog and had to share it. Look it over for an example of the kind of intellectually vapid bile that is so common to people like Stein.

Aside from the blatantly homophobic rhetoric (which I don’t even wish to dignify with comment), he also spouts some ethnically insensitive (borderline racist) nonsense regarding the confederate flag:

Second, let’s look at George Allen. Now, he’s a bad guy because he has a Confederate flag. Let’s get it straight. To millions of our fellow citizens, this flag has zero to do with racism. It is entirely about respect for a time of unbelievable horror in our society, The Civil War, and respect for men who fought so brilliantly for a cause that was unquestionably — by decent standards — a bad cause. Moreover, the stars and bars are a beautiful design and show nothing whatsoever about a person’s views about non-whites. No one has suggested that George Allen did anything racist or anti-black in his work in the Senate or as Governor. For him to be judged by what historical relics he owns is pure thought crime.

He talks about the confederate flag as a historical symbol. It’s not a symbol of racism, but a tribute to those who fought in the name of racism. It’s an historical relic which, according to Stein, is not associated with racism and should be respected. Does anyone else see a problem with this reasoning? An OBVIOUS problem, I’d say, considering that Ben Stein is Jewish… If you think about it, the exact same reasoning Stein uses to defend the confederate flag can be applied to the swastika. What a douchebag.

What is most funny to me, is that the entire premise of his article is to point out the hypocrisy of democrats. Let that little nugget sink in for a minute… Ben Stein pointing out hypocrisy!

Posted in Idiocy | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Finally! An add that makes sense!

Posted by Jeff on May 19, 2009

The fine folks at NOM have released yet another commercial. I somewhat recently posted on NOM’s marketing attempts to spread bigotry and hate through television commercials, and it seems that they just aren’t going to give up!

Ok. So now I see what all the fuss is about! Apparently, if we allow gays to get married, then our kids will all turn into ugly little toads who can’t act. Either that or they might end up being gently coaxed by society into letting go of the prejudices of their parents. Oh NOES!!!

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An update

Posted by Jeff on May 17, 2009

I’ve decided that come hell or high water I would update this blog today. The problem is that I don’t have a whole lot to talk about! I usually write on here when I’m pissed off or irritated over something I see going on in the world. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things that bug me that I could talk about… There’s Oprah giving Jenny I-Like-To-Cause-The-Deaths-Of-Innocent-Children McCarthy her own TV show… There’s no end of conservative right-wing asshats saying and doing things that make me cringe for the human species… Hell, there is apparently some economic crisis going on right now. Who knew?? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Once again, gay marriage is trying to ruin ALL of our lives…

Posted by Jeff on April 11, 2009

Just listening to this bigoted Gallagher so-called ‘person’ made me want to vomit. I’ve seen the particular add they are talking about and quite frankly I thought it was a joke! It was so ridiculous it seemed like satire. Something the Onion would do.  Well, here’s the Hardball interview that set me off on this:

And here’s the original commercial. Tell me what you would think of it if you didn’t already know it was serious…

Posted in bigotry | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Oh good lord!

Posted by Jeff on April 1, 2009

To think I used to live in IL. I’m going to have to go take another shower now to get the stupid off me.

Posted in Idiocy | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »