Ian's Blog (11)

Below the bible belt

A high school barred eighteen students from their high school prom because their garments didn't meet their 'community standards.' Whilst the standards were a bit weird in a christian nutcase fear of human flesh sort of way, the torture for failing to keep those dangerous girl thighs and girl sternums fully covered was to allow them a choice: Be suspended from their education for three days (why do christians hate education?) or be paddled. As best I can make out, the local version of paddling… Continue

Added by Ian on May 31, 2010 at 8:10am — 1 Comment

Religion: Three kinds of impossible

There are three types of impossible:
1. Statistically impossible, as in "It could be true once in a trillion billion times." This is the basis for agnosticism.…

Added by Ian on May 21, 2010 at 11:13am — No Comments

Hey - where is Pirin, the goddess of pain killers?

In case you don't recognize the reference in my title, it is from The Birdcage. A character is distressed before a stage performance and another actor gives them some drugs marked 'Pirin.' It turns out that they were Aspirin with some letters scraped off; simply a placebo for the intended use. Which is my view on 'miracles' or the efficacy of prayer - a placebo effect might occur but there is absolutely no evidence for some invisible God of Pain killers providing a physiological… Continue

Added by Ian on March 28, 2010 at 10:06am — No Comments

If there is a god, he is meanspitrited

If god has a master plan and someone's prayers go unanswered, that would indicate that god planned for them to pray AND for him to ignore their prayers!

That is rather mean -- hardly what I'd…

Added by Ian on March 11, 2010 at 9:27am — 1 Comment

In Praise of Pacts with the Devil

I was surprised to hear that TV evangelist Pat Robertson believes the devil is more powerful than the god of islamo-judeo-christian myth. As I had previously understood his position, his god (or gods, he never is clear on this three-in-one story) is supposed to have super powers:

It (1) knows everything, can do anything, and is completely benevolent.

However, Uncle Pat made this statement about Haiti, after the earthquake:

"... something happened a long time ago… Continue

Added by Ian on January 14, 2010 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

The Ministry of Self defeating laws - Muslim style

The BBC report (1) that there were scores of Khalwat raids in Malaysia on New Year's day.

Khalwat (2)? A Sharia law against 'close proximity' by unmarried couples that is supposed to remove any suspicion of impropriety. There is a maximum two year jail sentence and fine if found guilty of being in a secluded or confined space together before marriage.

Whilst this is an oppressive intrusion into people's private lives, from my atheistic and laissez faire point of view, it isn't… Continue

Added by Ian on January 4, 2010 at 12:54pm — No Comments

God(s): What have you done for us lately?

2009 was a year: a single spin around a rather ordinary star in the unfashionable arm of a typical galaxy, a miniscule journey by a minute grain of dust, a time span that represents an utterly insignificant moment on the scale of things cosmic. And yet, in that one teeny tiny year, human scientists have applied logic and observation, measurement and calculation to the natural world and made several magnificent discoveries that have extended our knowledge of reality and may well improve the… Continue

Added by Ian on December 18, 2009 at 11:02am — 4 Comments

The Parable of the Navigator

I'm writing a series of modern parables. Please feel free to critique this or suggest other topics for modern parables.


The Parable of the Navigator

Alex and Pat were in a restaurant having lunch. They agreed to meet later at a park which neither of them had previously visited.

Alex started to drive across town and found the way blocked by a torrent pouring from a broken water main. The park was on the far side of town and the… Continue

Added by Ian on December 7, 2009 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

Sir Francis Galton disproved the efficacy of prayer in 1870

Sir francis Galton was Charles Darwin's cousin and the originator of fingerprinting as a forensic test.

I was in England looking for the family crypt of my mum's Worcestershire based ancestors when I happened upon a crypt marker for Darwin Galton in St. Peter's church, Wooton Wawen. "That's odd," I said to myself, as one does in such common circumstances, "I wonder who that was and if he was related to the Galton who went to my school and'or (Yes, I think Boolean thoughts) that… Continue

Added by Ian on November 22, 2009 at 6:57pm — 1 Comment

Did abstinence eduction cause young adults to abstain from religion?

I just read an encouraging statistic:

"About 1 in 10 young adults are "irreligious" — or actively against religion — after virtually none of them fit that description as teenagers."

There is more background at:


So, what happened in the last decade that caused close to 30% of American twenty year olds to abandon religion? The line up of… Continue

Added by Ian on November 21, 2009 at 5:00pm — No Comments

A Monkey's Uncle

My granddad was a shrew, (1)
As true for me and you,
And Charlie Darwin too,
Though he never knew it.

Darn, I can't quite get the last line to scan!

(1) or at least a shrew like mammal present on earth over 65 million years ago...

Added by Ian on October 1, 2009 at 1:10am — No Comments



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