Archive for May, 2010

Rejecting Evolution leads to Scientific Illiteracy

27/05/2010

Faith Based Ignorance

Tom Rees has a really nice review of a study on cognitive biases and dogmatism which has considerable implications for how religious ideologies influence scientific literacy. I can’t improve on Tom’s summary “Geoffrey Munro, of Towson University in Maryland, has shown that people who are confronted with scientific evidence that conflicts with their beliefs are more likely to reject science as a source of evidence. Rather than modifying their beliefs, they move the goalposts!”

Over time, limiting information because of religious dogma–a “faith based” approach to information processing—can lead genuine cognitive deficits. If you don’t use your brain, it doesn’t work quite as well–or it certainly won’t have as much correct information stored in the hard drive.

Above you can see how this plays out using data from the 2006 General Social Survey. People who do not believe in evolution score a 58% on the scientific literacy exam (really simple stuff, go here for a full view), while people who believe in evolution get 73% of the science questions correct. American’s aren’t very bright in general….religion makes us even worse. Notably, the evolution effect is also evidenced in the vocabulary exam. The creationists get a 58% on the vocabulary exam, while those who believe in evolution score a 68%.

Given the low levels of scientific literacy among the creationists, it is frightening to think about them make decisions about their own and their families’ health, and it is even worse that many of these cretins are in positions of political authority to influence environmental regulation, scientific and medical research, and public education.

Christian Terrorists Strike Again!

26/05/2010

Don't look for this in the New York Times

Ah yes, in the weeks following some Pakistani accountant failing to blow up a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder, there have been at least two Christian Terrorist human fatalities! Great. So, we have a special session of congress about some dork who put a couple of firecrackers, a can of lawnmower fuel, and some Miracle Grow into a car which should have been traded in under Cash-for-Clunkers. At best, someone might have been extremely unlucky and been killed IF the Pathfinder Missile had worked to its optimum. That would have required a very unlucky hipster or bike messenger to be riding right next to it when it “blew”. Jesus fuck. I mean, it’s New York Fucking City. They have open flames blowing out of the sewers onto the sidewalks all the fucking time!

The latest non-reported Christian Terrorist killing took out two police officers and it’s rather shocking that more people weren’t killed or injured. It was a full blown gun battle with police against a couple of Christian Constitutionalist (as James Aho would classify them)  “sovereign citizens”. Two Arkansas State Troopers were murdered by these good Christian fucktards outside of West Memphis. Jesus told them that they had a right to have AK-47s and to shoot any agents of the godless satanic zionist, communist, muslim, occupation government if they dared to ask why they were driving without plates on their vehicle.

Nope. You’ll hear nothing about this. Unimportant. Crazy ARAB, now that’s important. Not crazy white fuckers with 8.6 children each and an arsenal of weapons…..No. You’ll see no sociological studies of the Christianist communes hell bent on war against the anti-Christ. Every ten years someone like Aho or Jurgensmeyer will put something out, and it will be filed under esoterica. I’m sure secular Iranian social scientists under the Shah did the same thing…..

Draw Mohammed Day!

20/05/2010

Geez, I think that visual blasphemy should be left to the professionals. With that in mind, everyone should go over and check out Jesus and Mo!!

Fuck those loser Scandinavian comics. They get all of the press because religious nutjobs keep trying to kill them. The reason why they aren’t  funny is because they suck, not because blasphemy isn’t funny! Nothing in Scandinavia is funny, I don’t even know why they have comics! Now, Mohammed Jones, he’s funny!!!  Check out his archives. Buy his books!

Ronnie James Dio: 1942-2010

17/05/2010

“The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams, it’s heaven and hell….”

The Elf is gone. I think I first saw Dio with Rainbow in 1977 or 1978, opening either for some dumb redneck fake rocker (Ted Nugent) or a bunch of drugged out dipshits who can’t play or sing (Aerosmith), or maybe it was an imploding Black Sabbath (who didn’t even finish their set)….The seventies are a bit hazy for me….But, whichever, it was a shocker, since Rainbow blew out the lead act and Dio outshined Richie Blackmore.

Dio saved heavy metal, which was quickly descending into the pits of big hair music or mindless noise. Most of the latter was a function of the fact that most acts were just that–acts. They didn’t know how to play, their  ” music” was written by some 50 year old fat guy in LA (who lived in his mother’s basement and was a child star in a 1950s sitcom), and some of the most popular were nothing short of Republican tools (yeah, Metallica, I’m surprised they didn’t play Bush’s inaugeration–maybe without the wigs).

The drugs weren’t helping, either. Growing up in Tulsa we were usually stop number 89 on a 100 leg tour, and the “where the fuck are we, and why?” factor loomed large in many performances.  I saw a lot of concerts in the 70s and 80s, but only about five good ones. Dio was a professional, and he brought professionalism back into heavy metal. I thought Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi were going to cry when Dio first stepped out in front of them for a 1981 show. It was like, wow,  they finally had a singer who not only showed up half sober, but actually opened perfectly on time, key, and pitch. Dio brought virtuosity back in.

Dio was no spring chicken. The man paid his dues. Still, rock star mortality is weird, what with Ozzy and Keith Richards still kicking around….I got a feeling something was up when Rob Halford did a tribute at something last year. Dio was the greatest.

Creationists are Stupid: Scientific Proof

13/05/2010

More stupid than the average idiot American!

The race for Gubner of Alabammy has come down to a sprint to the bottom of the gene pool, with both candidates vociferously proclaiming their adherence to biblical fundamentalism and their opposition to the evils of Satanic, Islamic, Homosexual theories of evolution. Some have openly  speculated  that this is a war of Moron versus Moron, and that’s a proposition testable by social scientific means.

Using data from the 2006 General Social Survey, I examine the relationship between beliefs in creationism versus evolution and two measures of intelligence–scientific literacy (measured with a 13 point scale developed in Miller 1998), and verbal ability (using a ten point scale examined in a number of recent studies). I find that, well holy fuck,  creationists are indeed cretins, and are probably descendants of Neanderthals. Creationists score solid F grades on both scientific literacy and on verbal ability. In contrast, normal ugly dumb ass Americans score a C in science and a D+ in English language vocabulary. Multivariate findings show that these statistically significant results are not a function of educational attainment, income, region, or ethnicity.  This is your brain on fundamentalist bullshit.

Baptist Rapist-Murderer Pleads Guilty

10/05/2010

Baptist Indoctronationist Rapist Murderer

It’s interesting to see this headlined at CNN as “Teacher kills student.” This wackjob religious nutcase was not a “teacher”, she was a religious freak who taught Jesus school at a Baptist Church pastored by her grandfather. Given her behavior, it seems reasonable to assume that she was also a victim of sexual abuse….typical. But, absolutely shameful that CNN portrays this as if some educator committed this horrible crime instead of some religious nutter.

Dr. George Alan Rekers, Homophobic Hypocrite

05/05/2010

I think I'll let my kids decide for themselves....

Another one. Don’t say the Iranian Redneck didn’t warn you. Remember Sherkat, 2002, JSSR.  Yes, and I am looking at your haircut, and your glamour shot. And, I do think you seem a little effeminate. None of that would mean anything, except that you also have this really weird aversion to and antipathy towards people who aren’t heterosexual….you know who you are…..

I just fucking love Joe. My. God.  Joe got on this pretty quick when the Miami Voice nailed this fucking right wing asshole coming back to the good old United States of Jesus with a very young male prostitute “carrying his baggage.” He’d been “carrying his baggage” for 10 full days on a European vacation! Yes, that’s the guy, Dr, George Alan Rekers, a board member of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). One of the founders of the Family Research Council, a key  “intellectual” figure arguing against same sex marriage and adoption (or even childrearing) for same sex couples. Frankly, this guy is Motherfucking Asshole Number 1. He does “expert” testimony to deny people their children. This guy is responsible for the suicides of countless young people who thought they could be cured of their normal sexual desires, only to have their hopes dashed when his bullshit “cure” didn’t work (not for him, either). The fucking hypocrite even had the audacity to reply back to Joe!!!! Oh boy!!! Now, there’s a mistake!! Let’s see, you admit to having hired him through “rentboy.com” …..ah…..Joe’s got his profile….Big dick! Tight Ass!  Likes EVERYTHING. Hot young man! Very young (20). I wonder what a 60+ year-old closeted queen with an ugly porn ‘stache and a combover has to pay for that hunk of meat?  For Ten Days, no less!!!

Yes, I know. Not all of you good Christian conservatives who believe strongly that gays and lesbians do not deserve the same civil, marital and parental rights as other Americans  are closeted homosexuals who frequent young, expensive, Puerto Rican Prostitutes. Most of you are just blowing other anonymous Christianists in local public restrooms for free, or raping alter boys or boy scouts.

Next up, the head of the Heritage Foundation….

Bad Samaritans, Repost…..

04/05/2010

What with all the right wingers blathering about sending the immigrants back to Africa and such, it’s interesting to see how religion plays a role in solidifying hostile sentiment towards people who came to the United States more recently than the rest of us non-indigenous folk.  In contrast to all the stories you might read about how wonderful and tolerant “evangelicals” are towards immigrants and refugees, in the real world sectarian Christians are the least tolerant towards immigrants and Catholics aren’t far behind (despite their own rather recent immigration).

The above figure presents regression estimates on data from the 2004-2006 General Social Surveys. My “anti-immigrant sentiment” scale includes five items  (1) It is impossible for people who do not share American customs and traditions to become fully American; (2) American television should give preference to American films and programs; (3) Immigrants increase crime rates; (4) Foreigners should not be allowed to buy land in America; (5) Immigrants take jobs away from people who were born in America. Items were coded to run from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree. The scale has an alpha reliability of .73, and the estimates charted above control for immigrant status, race, gender, income, education, Southern residence, rural residence, political party affiliation, and respondent age.

What the chart shows is that sectarian Protestants and Catholics have strong anti-immigrant views, even after controls for a host of other factors which should eliminate these differences. In contrast, people who do not identify with religious groups are even more tolerant of immigrants than the mostly-mainline Protestant comparison category.

Fear of a Brown America

01/05/2010

Figure 1:  Self Reported Non-Voting in the 2004 Presidential Election: 2008 General Social Survey.

Several pundits have correctly linked the latest fascist laws against immigrant to a desire to disenfranchise American citizens from particular ethnic backgrounds. One can only hope that a backlash will ensue. The fact is, the only reason why there are enough lily white racist Christianist fucktards in the legislatures of states like Arizona and New Mexico is because Latin American CITIZENS of the United States Don’t VOTE. Have you ever been to New Mexico or Arizona? Or even to Tejas? Or California? All of those brown people aren’t illegal aliens. They aren’t even legal residents. They’re fucking United States Citizens. Yet, we treat them like shit and act as if they should have no say about how OUR government operates. Because, the United States is a white Anglo Saxon Christian Nation. Just ask any Christian sociologist or journalist from some Tee Vee network.

Latin American and Asian immigrants–and indigenous Americans–need to be mobilized. They have absolutely pathetic rates of political participation. Arizona politicians should be reflexively fearful of the Latino vote, and instead they don’t give a rat’s ass–because they know that Latinos don’t vote (and they mistakenly think that they don’t even have the right to vote–there are laws against brown people voting, aren’t there?).  43% of American citizens of Latin American origin  in the GSS admit that they didn’t vote in the 2004 Presidential election. More than double the rate of non-voting for cracker Americans.  over 35% of Americans of Indigenous ancestry didn’t vote.  25% of Asians admit to not having voted, and almost 30% of African Americans didn’t even bother to show up and vote against W.

Hopefully, this latest round of fascism will awaken some democracy in America.