Saturday, October 29, 2011

More extrasolar planets!

Astrobiology magazine reports that three more planets orbiting other stars have been discovered, as well as a "mystery object" that may be another planet or just another small star. All are orbiting dying stars, but the information gleaned from them may be helpful in finding other extrasolar planets and learning about planetary systems.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Obama disappoints

I'm not surprised, but Obama denied both petitions to remove "under God" from the Pledge and the money. Nonetheless, I find it extremely disappointing. His reasoning was terrible. Government endorsement of a specific deity is absolutely not a part of the "public square".

Today's dose of crazy

A few things caught my eye today. First, the US Military has apparently been teaching some strange ideas about American religious beliefs to foreign students. Specifically, the US is a Christian country and freedom of religion is the freedom to interpret the Bible yourself. Anything else is part of an evil liberal plot to defeat Christianity.

Only slightly lower on the crazy scale are the young Earth creationists. Having studied geology in college, these guys drive me mad. They calculate the age of the Earth by adding the ages of the people in the Bible, rather than by using any sort of scientific method. Recently at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting, creationists presented their "research". In a prior year, they had led field trips. So to me, it seems like a bit of semantic dodging and half-truths are required in order to be accepted by both communities. Isn't it strange how people are willing to lie, contradicting one part of the book they live by, in order to prove another part of that same book to be literally true? How does one justify that?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Science, not censors

It always bears repeating: science doesn't censor things. If you follow the scientific method in your research, you can participate too. Just be aware that scientists don't censor their responses, either. If you say something unsupported, someone will point it out. Nothing is held sacred or untouchable, and everything is up for question. That's the beauty of it.

Principal with principles

I am impressed with the story of this principal who did the right thing in not allowing a Christian historical revisionist to speak at his school. Thank you to the many educational professionals out there who help keep church and state separate!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bibles for porn!

At the University of Texas in San Antonio, an atheist group is allowing people to bring in their Bible and get free porn in return. Police were needed to guard the group, as many Christians were extremely angry about the swap.

However, with all the sex and violence in the Bible, I don't doubt that it was an equal trade.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Religious teaching workshop?

In Arkansas, some churches have been holding teacher workshops. However, the classes focus on how to circumvent the separation of church and state without overtly breaking the law. As one teacher said, "It became very clear to me as the day progressed that the objective was to encourage teachers to abide by the letter of the law while quietly sabotaging the intent of the law."

If that wasn't bad enough for you, teachers are given professional development credits. Teachers must participate in mandatory training hours every year in order to keep up with the latest techniques and information about teaching. This training is called professional development, and certificates are issued as proof of the teacher having fulfilled their obligations.

In this case, the certificates were forged. The signatory was not an employee of the education department. Yes, these good Christians lied to the teachers, after taking their money. Dishonesty is promoted by these churches in the form of forged certificates and training to circumvent laws. And these are the people who claim to be moral authorities?