The biggest problem that we as simple humans have now is mainstream media, that which distorts and sensationalizes any story to build it up to superhuman impossible expectations! These stories appear on CNN, Fox, Al Jazeera, and many of the most vaunted independent sources of the present day.
The Chapel Hill, NC story featured the horrible “Atheist” who cold-bloodedly murdered 3 Muslim students. The ISIS stories reign in our news as the need for the communities of non-muslims to denounce things that are done in fanatic adherence to a religion that most Muslims know nothing of! President Obama said it best when he referenced the horrors carried out by Christians during the Crusades! This shit actually happened on the Catholic watch and was endorsed as the word of God!
We need to get away from totally fucking with the people of Islam in America and seeing as these people are only about 5-10% of the population of the cities of the U.S and are against the shit that ISIS peddles. You WILL NOT fuck with the students in my area, you WILL NOT fuck with the businesses in my area because the loyal Americans that you persecute are of the religion of Islam! Leave them alone and I will leave YOU alone! Ibrahim is not your enemy and his appearance IS NOT a reason for you to hate him! Expand your fucking mind and get your head out of your ass!
In the past, I have been more vocal, but I admit the ability to learn and advance! I know peaceful Muslims and I dislike those who fuck over their peaceful message. Christians have fucked people over as well, but now the same bullshit is being applied to the religion of Islam. I am a person who dislikes all religion, but I, as a skeptic and atheist, must ask these people to come into my realm and agree to a discourse on religion and other things. I can only hope that the religious take from my talks a fact based science laden proof-mongering refutation that blows their religious mythology out of the water for the long haul. No religion stands up to the truth of facts and it never will. No religious person can produce one single fact that corroborates their god or anything else.
In conclusion, we find so many things that debunk or disprove the supernatural, and meet with so many people that claim false intelligence to wild claims, yet fall short as anyone should when supposing unsubstantiated clams. Love me some Kinesiology, some Chakra re alignment, some crystal healing, some acupuncture healing.
Most of this shit is a load of crap and needs to be thrown into the bin of scientific shit!!
Let’s be honest folks, being a realist who has feet planted firmly on the ground and doesn’t use crutches to support the psyche is really goddammed hard, ( goddamn spelled wrong on purpose ), just like goddammit. I am a logical, methodical, reasonable, skeptical, free-thinking person who is very aware of the idiocy firmly implanted in the genetic code of the human race. I stand on my own two feet analyzing peer reviewed data and using it as a guideline with which to live a life spent devoid of foolish fantasy that was designed to control illiterate goat herders. I live for the now, realizing that it could all end tomorrow, and I never delude myself into believing that there is a magical kingdom awaiting me after the worms eat my earthly flesh. I am not ignorant or naive.
Man has, over the years, created hundreds of thousands of gods in their own image to help them in their quest to find importance and relevance in an arena where they obviously are an incredibly insignificant part of reality. The earliest of humans gazed at the heavens and had small glimmers of wonder as to what was going on beyond themselves because of the shear immensity of what they observed, and before modern science, the only thing that there was to do was to defer to the supernatural. In this world was born the first imaginary being that was responsible for the lightning, comets, flooding and strange things that went bump in the night. This was the extent of primitive thought. As the Fact of Evolution exerted itself upon the talking apes that are humanity, they began questioning the supernatural bullshit that was the standard and law of the time resulting in many an execution for heresy. The small number of free-thinkers and educated philosophers sowed the seeds of dissent and started the movement that would challenge the utter ignorance of believing that a sky fairy controlled the existence of corporeal beings here on Earth.
This continued over many generations of the human animal further demonstrating that only a small number of these beings could ever be forward logical thinkers who reject supernatural bullshit. The discoveries of science, you would think, should eliminate the need for incredibly insipid uninspired suppositions of magic ghosts in the sky ruling over humanity in absentee grandeur. Yes, thats right, if GOD is real, then why is HE soooo ineffectual as a power and so impotent as a deity? The leaders of this batshittery constantly refer to ‘Free will’ as the reason that GOD allows HIS followers to be slaughtered and reviled, but I say that maybe this GOD is just a crutch meant to lend significance to humanity and is possibly,(definitely), just a construct of man that has about the same power as a strong dog fart in a closed space. God makes you krinkle your nose, but only because the idea of HIM totally STINKS! In these modern days, just invoke HIS name and see what you get, NOTHING! Pray to HIM and what is the result? WASTED FUCKING TIME!!! Two hands working do more than a thousand clasped in prayer, FACT! Prove the existence of the great sky fairy, or even the great pumpkin, and you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams! And why? Because HE does not exist and will never answer any request that you have no matter how small.
My angst evolves from my personality. This is completely based in logic and can be analyzed by current science available to every human on the planet but will be seized upon by the religious as a chink in the atheist armor, but I could care fucking less. I WISH that you crazy bastards were right! Hell, as I evolve as an atheist I get even more depressed that I am not a ‘Devil may care’ sort of person. The totally fucked thing is that I wish that I could delude myself as the religious have and believe that a life exists beyond this one where I will see my beautiful daughters and my son after we all are long gone. You religious educated people know in your heart of hearts that you are full of shit, but I still wish that I could give myself a god dose of fantasy and cognitive dissonance and believe the completely unreal fake bullshit that you do!
Don’t kid yourselves for one goddammed second. you people possess an uncanny ability to make the fake into reality and that is just fake shit supposed as real which accounts to complete bullshit! Religion IS complete bullshit designed to give significance to a race on the periphery of the galaxy on the periphery of the universe, on the periphery of eternity, proven to be insignificant in the scheme of things….no wonder that the race would concoct such a grand load of bullshit as a god to justify their existence. We truly don’t matter and most people cannot come to grips with this, including me! I do want to be relevant but cannot deny the mountains of proof that are to the contrary. I feel this way because of my connections to those that I have brought into this world, and because of the suffering that I have endured because of the pieces of shit that gave birth to me. They carelessly thrust me into a world of hard knocks, not caring that I would have to learn to fend for myself in a climate that eats unprepared rubes for sport just for the fuck of it!
I know, KNOW due to the incredible burden of proof that when the breath leaves this fragile bag of meat, then it is truly over and the physical as well as the supposed spiritual rots with the shell, PERIOD! There is no afterlife and no do-overs, we end this life with what we have and are never conscious again, that fucking sucks and is the finality that science has to offer with proof that cannot be denied. I want to exist in a candy land sugar coated asshole world of fantasy so that I can see my family forever, why do you think that humans created these fantasies in the first place? The complexities of our brains, over more base life forms, demand that we try to make sense of a world that gives us a finite existence. This is based in fear only and is a primitive auto-reaction practiced by complex creatures on the cusp of evolution that will bring us beyond this simplistic reactionary impulse that plagues intelligent primates. This means that some day the human race will evolve to accept that it has a pre-determined amount of time in existence and it will learn to embrace this reality and make the world a better place without the myth of a returning god to drive them. In other words, we will get beyond the need to create buffers to ally our fear of the dark and we will just face it without cowardice and idiocy.
Right now, I feel my mortality. I see that people are coming to the end of their lives and care for those that disease has hastened their eventual end and I am reminded that time is short. The faithful have that god delusion to assist them in their transition from life to the grave, and believe that they will meet their family members again in a place with roads paved in gold. As we logical people know, those legends cannot even hold up in a third world court of law. There is no evidence that god exists and the best known accounts jibe with several other man made scenarios involving a supernatural being of light meant to deliver humanity at the time of their death. To put a point on it, it’s all bullshit and we know it! If you put a nonsense spin on it, you have a supernatural being of complete impotence revered by a priesthood that benefits from the myth through financial and political means, fleecing an ignorant flock, fucking PERIOD!
Many apologist use the circular argument of “How do you know and how can you be certain, seeing as this reality is only what your five senses tell you it is?” This is an argument of desperation coming from a person who is using obvious myth to debate cold hard science. The facts remain that science is the only best way in which rational people explain things in this world and all other explanations remain in the realm of the supernatural and thats all that it will ever be. God will never create warp drive or travel inter dimensionally because science will be way ahead of this ancient myth produced only by the weak human being that also saw the need to create the fiction of an all powerful being presiding over humanity offering eternal life.
Our view of the universe and beyond is only that of scientific extrapolations which have provided laws of probability way more reliable than “God did it” and can predict many future advancements that mankind will take credit for and many more after that. Yaweh will, of course, be relegated to the dustbin of history and will be replaced by, yet another creation meant to allay the human need for significance beyond our physical finite bodies, but will hopefully be regarded as just as ridiculous as those imagined beings before. Morals, we have ’em, we always will, due to the evolution of the human mind. We ask ourselves what it would be like to trade places with those that we oppress and the answers are always the same, the life of the oppressed sucks ass and we should enact laws to prevent oppression. Those involved in religion would use circuitous argument to ask how we would know what was right or what benefits mankind. I say that we use the evolving mind of mankind to figure this out and that using the “God” stance is just a way out of using logic and reason and is a default reasoning when you refuse to look at the facts. God condones slavery, rape, misogyny, murder, incest and many other crimes against humanity and therefore many humans can claim a morality higher than that of the Christian god.
God sits on His hands as humans unravel His fuckups, so He cannot be all powerful as the Christians say. He is actually an impotent asshat who sits on His hands as horrific shit happens and seems to be cool with letting mere humans correct the dumb shit that He has done on purpose! GOD is an asshole if anyone could prove HIS existence! Fuck Him! Fuck Him with a big rubber dick!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish for an incompetent asshole to be real so that I could supplicate to Him and validate His impotent ass who I believe I am more moral than, I just would like to be able to see my family in an afterlife that did NOT include having to slog through a life trying to get my piece of the pie from ravening God fearing assholes who believe that they were ordained by God Himself to reign over the little people and steal all of their shit! I would like to be on the same level as everyone else and live in harmony forever with my wonderful wife and children. This world doesn’t exist. The reality of the matter is that we are finite organisms governed by the laws of organic matter and will eventually fade from this Earth as all organic matter has before us. We are just tall tale tellers that lie to ourselves while holding the crystal ball of life telling other lemmings when and where they will go. We know where we will go. Science provides all of the answers and religion provides the comedy relief! Science is based in reality and religion is based in the ridiculous.
I am an atheist, and I am firmly rooted in logic and reality and if any religious person comes along to refute this, I dare them to present a shred of proof as to the validity of their fictional deity, which always ends in failure for the deist. There is no proof and no spiritual ‘moment’ that you will have if you are a realist who believes in logic, reason and sensibility. Science is the best chance for man to continue, if they continue to believe in the bullshit of idiot gods, then they will continue to limit themselves based upon the doctrine of these human created constructs. I don’t hate GOD, I hate the irrationality of GOD and the doctrine that supports the myth. It holds back science and make people irrationally afraid to expose the lies.
Five Myths Challenging everything you think you know Five myths about Jesus
By Reza Aslan, Published: September 26, 2013 Reza Aslan is the author, most recently, of “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.”
Perhaps no historical figure is more deeply mired in legend and myth than Jesus of Nazareth. Outside of the Gospels — which are not so much factual accounts of Jesus but arguments about His religious significance — there is almost no trace of this simple Galilean peasant who inspired the world’s largest religion. But there’s enough biblical scholarship about the historical Jesus to raise questions about some of the myths that have formed around Him over the past 2,000 years.
1. Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
The first Christians seem to have had little interest in Jesus’s early years. Stories about His birth and childhood are conspicuously absent in the earliest written documents about Him: the letters of Paul (written between A.D. 50 and 60) and the Gospel of Mark (written after A.D. 70). But as interest in the person of Jesus increased, the nascent Christian community tried to fill in the gaps of His youth to align His life and mission with the myriad, and often conflicting, prophecies about the messiah in the Hebrew scriptures.
A feature from The Post’s Outlook section that dismantles myths, clarifies common misconceptions and makes you think again about what you thought you already knew. Archive
One of those prophecies requires the messiah, as a descendant of King David, to be born in David’s city: Bethlehem. But Jesus was so identified with Nazareth, the city where most scholars believe He was born, that He was known throughout his life as “the Nazarene.” The early Christians needed a creative solution to get Jesus’s parents to Bethlehem so He could be born in the same city as David.
For the evangelist Luke, the answer lay in a census called by Rome in A.D. 6, which he claims required every subject to travel to his ancestral home to be counted. Since Jesus’s father, Joseph, was from Bethlehem, he and his wife, Mary, left Nazareth for the city of David, where Jesus was born. And thus the prophecy was fulfilled.
Yet this Roman census encompassed only Judea, Samaria and Idumea — not Galilee, where Jesus’s family lived. What’s more, since the purpose of a census was taxation, Roman law assessed an individual’s property in the place of his residence, not his birthplace.
Simply put, Luke places Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem not because it took place there but because that story fulfills the words of the prophet Micah: “But you Bethlehem . . . from you shall come for me a ruler in Israel.”
2. Jesus was an only child.
Despite the Catholic doctrine of His mother Mary’s perpetual virginity, we can be certain that the historical Jesus came from a large family with at least four brothers who are named in the Gospels — James, Joseph, Simon and Judas — and an unknown number of sisters. That Jesus had brothers and sisters is attested to repeatedly by the Gospels and the letters of Paul. Even the 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus refers to Jesus’s brother James, who would become the most important leader of the early Christian church after Jesus’s death.
Some Catholic theologians have argued that the Greek word the Gospels use to describe Jesus’s brothers — “adelphos” — could also mean “cousins” or “step-brothers,” and that these could be Joseph’s children from a previous marriage. While that may be true, nowhere in the New Testament is “adelphos” used to mean anything other than “brother.” So there is no rational argument for viewing Jesus as an only child.
3. Jesus had 12 disciples.
This myth is based on a misunderstanding of the three categories of Jesus’s followers. The first was made up of those who came to hear Him speak or to be healed by Him whenever He entered a village or town. The Gospels refer to this group as “crowds.”
The second category was composed of those who followed Jesus from town to town, village to village. These were called disciples, and according to the Gospel of Luke, there were 70 or 72 of them, depending on which version of the text you believe.
The third category of Jesus’s followers was known as the apostles. These 12 men were no mere disciples, for they did not just follow Jesus from one place to another. Rather, they were given permission to go off on their own and preach His message independently and without supervision. They were, in other words, the chief missionaries of the Jesus movement.
4. Jesus had a trial before Pontius Pilate.
The Gospels portray Pontius Pilate as an honest but weak-willed governor who was strong-armed by the Jewish authorities into sending a man he knew was innocent to the cross. The Pilate of history, however, was renowned for sending his troops onto the streets of Jerusalem to slaughter Jews whenever they disagreed with even the slightest of his decisions. In his 10 years as governor of Jerusalem, Pilate eagerly, and without trial, sent thousands to the cross, and the Jews lodged a complaint against him with the Roman emperor. Jews generally did not receive Roman trials, let alone Jews accused of rebellion. So the notion that Pilate would spend a moment of his time pondering the fate of yet another Jewish rabble-rouser, let alone grant him a personal audience, beggars the imagination.
It is, of course, conceivable that Jesus would have received an audience with the Roman governor if the magnitude of His crime warranted special attention. But any “trial” Jesus got would have been brief and perfunctory, its sole purpose to officially record the charges for which He was being executed.
5. Jesus was buried in a tomb.
The Gospels say that after the crucifixion, Jesus’s body was brought down from the cross and placed in a tomb. If that were true, it would have been because of an extremely unusual, perhaps unprecedented, act of benevolence on the part of the Romans.
Crucifixion was not just a form of capital punishment for Rome. In fact, some criminals were first executed and then nailed to a cross. The primary purpose of crucifixion was to deter rebellion; that’s why it was always carried out in public. It was also why the criminal was always left hanging long after he died; the crucified were almost never buried. Because the point of crucifixion was to humiliate the victim and frighten witnesses, the corpse would be left to be eaten by dogs and picked clean by birds of prey. The bones would then be thrown onto a trash heap, which is how Golgotha, the place of Jesus’s crucifixion, earned its name: the place of skulls.
It is possible that, unlike practically every other criminal crucified by Rome, Jesus was brought down from the cross and placed in an extravagant rock-hewn tomb fit for the wealthiest men in Judea. But it is not very likely.
ABUJA, Nigeria – World pressure on Nigeria is mounting over its slow reaction and failure to rescue hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorists in a remote part of the country.
Tuesday, President Obama called the abductions “outrageous” and “heartbreaking” and said Nigeria has agreed to accept U.S. law enforcement and military assistance.
“We’ve already sent in a team to Nigeria. They’ve accepted our help through a combination of military, law enforcement and other agencies who are going in, trying to identify where in fact these girls might be and provide them help,” Obama told ABC News.
Distraught parents of the stolen children have charged that officials stalled on action to free them, and international condemnation has grown amid protests in major cities. Demands for action have increased on social media, especially through the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
More than 300 girls were abducted. Of that number, 276 remain in captivity and 53 escaped. Tuesday, an additional eight girls were abducted from a village near a terrorist stronghold in the area.
The schoolgirls have been held for three weeks by the Muslim terrorist organization Boko Haram, which has killed thousands of Christians and Muslims in an attempt to bring strict Islamic law to all of Nigeria. It declared plans to sell the girls or have them married to its members.
“We’ve always identified them as one of the worst local or regional terrorist organizations there is out there,” Obama told NBC News. “And I can only imagine what the parents are going through.”
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the kidnappings an “unthinkable tragedy” and “an offense to the conscience of the world.”
“The threat by Boko Haram’s leader to sell them in the marketplace reflects the utter absence of humanity,” Pelosi said.
Protesters have begged for international help, and some Nigerians blame their government.
“The government cannot sit back and watch how these little girls suffer. Their families are traumatized,” said Nigerian Sen. Ali Ndume, who represents the region. “The government needs to do something extra, even if seeking external support, to ensure these girls are rescued.”
Edmond Keller, a UCLA political science professor specializing in Africa, said the episode is part of continuing low-intensity conflicts in the northeastern part of Nigeria, and Nigerians have regarded terrorist violence as commonplace.
“It took something as dramatic as the kidnapping of these young women to really get people’s attention,” Keller said. “Nigerians themselves have been loudly complaining about the government not doing much, but they hadn’t protested in the streets up until recently.”
He did not see racism as a factor in the slow international reaction to the kidnappings, but he said that in general, the West is more concerned about human rights in Ukraine, Syria and other world hot spots than in Africa.
“There’s a certain amount of racism involved in the tendency to look upon African conflicts as being normal and being a part of the way Africans behave, as opposed to something whites need to be concerned with,” he said.
Girls from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School are the latest victims in a long-running Islamist militancy straining relations between a north dominated by Muslims and a Christian-centric south.
Boko Haram is especially opposed to educating girls. Its name translates as “Western education is forbidden.”
The Chibok girls school is in the remote and sparsely populated northeastern region of the country, Africa’s largest with a population of 170 million. Like all schools in Borno state, Chibok, an elite academy of both Muslim and Christian girls, had been closed because of increasingly deadly attacks by Boko Haram. It had reopened to allow final-year students to take exams.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said at first the government did not know where the girls were, then said he needed better troops from the West to save them.
Family members are frantic, pleading for international assistance from the United States and the United Kingdom.
“We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls. … They said there had been mass marriages, and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants,” Samson Dawah, whose niece was among those in the mass kidnapping, told The Guardian newspaper.
In New York, London and major Nigerian cities such as Lagos, the capital Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna, protesters in the streets are pressuring the government.
“Bring back our girls — alive!” chanted demonstrators camped outside the Onikan Stadium in Lagos.
After weeks of silence, Nigerian officials promised to step up action. President Jonathan vowed to find the schoolgirls with help from the United States.
“Everything must be done” to free them, he said.
Nigerian Interior Minister Abba Moro told the BBC that the government had to act in a “discreet” way because the militants had threatened to kill the girls if “certain steps” were taken.
Nii Akuetteh, an independent Washington analyst who specializes in Africa, says the government is simply unable to rise to the threat posed by Boko Haram.
“The government can’t do anything because of the capabilities of the security services,” he said. “For five years, the security services have (not been coping well) with Boko Haram.
“The city (of Abuja) is expecting to host an international conference, and still two bombs have been detonated,” he said. “It fits the pattern that they are simply unable to cope.”
Under Boko Haram’s interpretation of Sharia law, women shouldn’t be in school, they should be at home raising children and taking care of their husbands. In an hour-long video obtained by Agence France-Presse, a man identifying himself as Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, claimed responsibility for the abductions and threatened to sell the girls.
“By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace,” he says in the video, in which he refers to the captives as his slaves. The video showed militants firing rifles in the air and crying, “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great.”
The country has been beset by instability and increasing violence, and Boko Haram is responsible for a spate of bombings in the past year. The group orchestrated a car bomb attack in Abuja on May 1, killing at least 19 people and injuring 60 more. In April, 70 people died in a bomb blast.
Boko Haram murdered 59 schoolboys in February. It separated the boys from the girls, instructing the girls to leave the school and get married before sending them home. The boys were then killed. The movement could be responsible for more than 1,500 deaths this year, according to Amnesty International, a watchdog group.
Africa specialist Ayo Johnson attributes Boko Haram’s ability to continually attack and intimidate to its omnipresence in the country.
“Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan summed it best when in 2012 he said, ‘Boko Haram has infiltrated the government.It has infiltrated the police, the security forces and even the Cabinet,’ ” Johnson said. “And I think that summed it up, that Boko Haram was an enemy from within … that was going nowhere and was bent on causing problems for the Nigerian government.”
The narratives of human evolution are oft-told and highly contentious. There are major disagreements in the field about whether human evolution is more like a branching tree or a crooked stick, depending partly on how many species one recognizes. Interpretations of almost every new find will be sure to find opposition among other experts. Disputes often center on diet and habitat, and whether a given animal could walk bipedally or was fully upright. What can we really tell about human evolution from our current understanding of the phylogenetic relations of hominids and the sequence of evolution of their traits?
To begin with, let’s take a step back. Although the evolution of hominid features is sometimes put in the framework of “apes vs. humans,” the fact is that humans are apes, just as they are primates and mammals. A glance at the evogram shows why. The other apes — chimp, bonobo, gorilla, orangutan, gibbon — would not form a natural, monophyletic group (i.e., a group that includes all the descendants of a common ancestor) — if humans were excluded. Humans share many traits with other apes, and those other “apes” (i.e., non-human apes) don’t have unique features that set them apart from humans. Humans have some features that are uniquely our own, but so do gorillas, chimps, and the rest. Hominid evolution should not be read as a march to human-ness (even if it often appears that way from narratives of human evolution). Students should be aware that there is not a dichotomy between humans and apes. Humans are a kind of ape.
Virtually all systematists and taxonomists agree that we should only give names to monophyletic groups. However, this evogram shows that this guideline is not always followed. For an example, consider Australopithecus. On the evogram you can see a series of forms, from just after Ardipithecusto just before Homo in the branching order, that are all called Australopithecus. (Even Paranthropus is often considered an australopithecine.) But as these taxa appear on the evogram, “Australopithecus”is not a natural group, because it is not monophyletic: some forms, such as A. africanus, are found to be closer to humans than A. afarensis and others. Beyond afarensis, for example, all otherAustralopithecus and Homo share “enlarged cheek teeth and jaws,” because they have a more recent common ancestor. Eventually, several of these forms will have to have new genus names if we want to name only monophyletic groups. Students should avoid thinking of “australopithecines” as a natural group with uniquely evolved traits that link its members together and set it apart from Homo. Instead they should focus on the pattern of shared traits among these species and the Homoclade, recognizing that each species in this lineage gains more and more features that are shared by Homo.
In popular fiction and movies, the concept of the wild “ape-man” is often that of a tree-living, vine-swinging throwback like Tarzan. However, the pantheon of hominids is much richer than this, as the evogram shows with forms as different as Paranthropus and Ardipithecus shows. For example, imagine going back in time to the common ancestor of humans and chimps (including bonobos). What did that common ancestor look like? In the Origin of Species Darwin noted that the extinct common ancestor of two living forms should not be expected to look like a perfect intermediate between them. Rather, it could look more like one branch or the other branch, or something else entirely.
Did the common ancestor of humans and chimps conform to the ape-man myth and live in the trees, swinging from vines? To answer this, we have to focus not only on anatomy but on behavior, and we have to do it in a phylogenetic context. Apes such as the gibbon and orangutan, which are more distantly related to humans, are largely arboreal (i.e., tree-living). The more closely related apes such as the gorilla and chimps are relatively terrestrial, although they can still climb trees. The feet of the first hominids have a considerable opposition of the big toe to the others but relatively flat feet, as arboreal apes generally do. But other features of their skeleton, such as the position of the foramen magnum underneath the skull, the vertically shortened and laterally flaring hips, and the larger head of the femur, suggest that they were not just mainly terrestrial but habitually bipedal, unlike their knuckle-walking relatives. Most evidence suggests that the hominid lineage retained some of the anatomical features related to arboreal life and quadrupedal gait even after it had evolved a more terrestrial lifestyle and a bipedal gait. There is no fossil record of these behaviors, but the balance of the available evidence supports the hypothesis that the hominid ancestor was terrestrial and bipedal.
Much discussion in human paleontology surrounds the evolution of a bipedal, upright stance. When and why did this occur? One thing to keep in mind is that “bipedal” and “upright” are not equivalent terms. An animal can be bipedal without having a vertical backbone (think T. rex). It seems clear from the fossil record of hominids that habitual bipedality preceded the evolution of a recurved spine and upright stance. Other changes in the gait, such as how the relatively “splayed” gait of chimps evolved into the gait of humans, who put one foot directly in front of the other, involve studying the hip joint, the femur, and the foot. The famous Laetoli footprints attributed to Australopithecus afarensis are bipedal, but they are still relatively splayed compared to the tracks of living humans.
Another extremely interesting feature in hominid evolution is the degree of sexual dimorphism (i.e., physical differences between the sexes) in different species. Sexual dimorphism is linked to features of sociality and mate competition in many sorts of animals. To understand the evolution of this feature in humans, which have relatively low sexual dimorphism, we need to consider the other apes, in which sexual dimorphism tends to be moderate to high (with exceptions). We don’t have sufficient evidence about Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, and Ardipithecus to understand much about sex differences in these species, but we do know that A. afarensis had relatively high sexual dimorphism: the males were considerably larger than the females. The difference seems to have been less in A. africanus,Paranthropus, and most of the Homo lineage. The evolutionary explanation for A. afarensis‘ dimorphism is not entirely clear. The larger males may have used their size to attract females and/or repel rivals, which would fit with an explanation based on sexual selection. Or the males and females may have been differently sized because they played different roles in their groups, the males hunting and gathering and the females caring for the young. Darwin thought that this differentiation of the sexes may have played a critical role in human evolution, but we simply do not know much about the role of this feature in A. afarensis. Some, all, or none of these functions may have been in play.
We do know that by the time the animals known as Homo evolved, they could make tools, and their hands were well suited for complex manipulations. These features were eventually accompanied by the reduction of the lower face, particularly the jaws and teeth, the recession of the brow, the enlargement of the brain, the evolution of a more erect posture, and the evolution of a limb moreadapted for extended walking and running (along with the loss of arboreally oriented features). The evogram shows the hypothesized order of acquisition of these traits. Yet each of the Homo species was unique in its own way, so human evolution should not be seen as a simple linear progression of improvement toward our own present-day form.
-Seems a lot more in depth than using the idiocy of ‘God did it.’ The transitionary fossils are there and Kirk Cameron still rails on about his ‘Crocoduck.’ How long will such large pockets of ignorance exist in modern times? Hiding your ignorance behind the ultimate cop-out of faith demonstrates a profound need to hide from reality and forsake the reality of that arm of practice, science, that will eventually have ALL of the keys to our evolution. God had to have a beginning, a creation to hold with the Creationists arguments that the universe cannot come from nothing. By the same token, God cannot have come from nothing! If this cosmic Gepetto actually were to exist he would have to have a beginning other than ‘He has always been there.’ As we see again, no proof and circuitous argument is used to make sense of something that makes no sense to believe in!
Many apologists who have broken free of the cult of religion have found it to be an incredibly traumatic experience due to being ostracized and reviled in their former communities. Religious zealots forsake that all important love of man when it comes to dealing with people who have ripped off the blinders and unplugged from the toxic Matrix of belief. A great number of the formerly indoctrinated have actually written of the persecution and hatred poured upon them by former Kool-Ade ingesters who have actively vilified them and sought to punish them for opening there eyes to reality. Many people have moved far away from their ex communities while others have written books and immersed themselves in the local scientific community so as to drink in the truth and wash away a life spent wasted in the pursuit of the intangible. I, myself, had to do this because of the ignorance of the believers around me.
The deluded will always use redundant arguments and parlor tricks to convince others to waste their lives on folly and ignorance. I could care less what a person believes, but I take offense to fights over whether prayer should be allowed in schools, it should not, or that both Evolution and the pseudoscience Creation should be taught side by side. Evolution is science FACT, Creation is mythological fallacy and should only be taught in theology class or a class on religious mythology, PERIOD! There are thousands of religions out there and no one religion should dominate the other and it sure as Hell shouldn’t dummy down the school system! Overpopulation is causing these stabbing and shooting crimes in the educational system, not the lack of God. Lack of mental health care and rampant liberalism is to blame for this madness, not taking God out of the schools! The Christian god sure lacks power in that He can be kicked out of a place by mere mortals! Shit man, there’s God over there on His ass thrown out of schools by His own creations! Yes, the infection of PC is the liberal version of sticking your head in the sand and ignores personal responsibility, but these are the causes of chaos. Realizing cause and effect does away with the childish need for cosmic puppeteers.
The apologists will only fall back on Revelation and other biblical pronouncements in rebuttal to logical argument. They have no footing, they have no concrete proof except to demonstrate that their myth has no real power. It’s time to accept the truth that this is the only life that we have and to live it to the fullest, because living the unexamined life will leave you empty and unfulfilled when you discover no mansion in Heaven and no one waiting for you on the supposed ‘other side.’ I find that those who complain the loudest about other people’s lifestyles are the one’s not living it, so live the adventure as if tomorrow is the last day on Earth.
I have been receiving very sophomoric typical replies to comments that I have made on other blogs here.When I read an extraordinary claim made on a Christian themed blog I am known to comment briefly by challenging the claim and rebutting with simple logic. Regarding a claim that God is great and responsible for the many wonders that are explainable by basic science, I usually reply using my knowledge of demonstrable evidence to give the right explanation to a bogus claim. The Christian replies to that with the typical idiocy fed to them by their clergy and parents which is usually vacuous faith based bullshit not grounded in the real tangible world of common sense. I usually direct them to some of the hundreds of posts on my blog quoting the latest evidence available and get a fearful rebuttal based in biblical ramblings. These people are so scared and deluded that when presented with a way to change their thinking and beliefs they choose to cower in fear and hide behind a book of fables.
Now I understand that changing a world view requires courage and vision as well as being willing to alienate people that one has known for a lifetime. Most people that have rejected the lies of religious life have been shunned and cut off from their communities. Religion is a disease of the mind, rooted in the laziness of faith which is the easiest choice to grab onto when actual research would pull one out of the lifetime comfort zone. Faith is Linus’s security blanket that assuages anxieties and fear without having to address and solve the problem that caused the fear in the first place. Faith is the ultimate cop-out used to dispose of real effort and the challenge of facing the actual truth, but I understand why people cling to it. I, for one, fear irrationally the finality of death even though I am an entrenched atheist who believes 100% in demonstrable evidence. I fear because I don’t know the final resting place of sentient versus inanimate energy. Does it go away to an ultimate dead zone, or does it exist on in time and space as pure energy? I know that my consciousness as an individual being means nothing in the scheme of the universe and that no human being is going to a golden city to walk the gilded roads with fucking Jesus, that’s obviously the human construct of an anthropomorphic god meant to allay the fear of death.
Funny that even the most devout believers in the God myth are still uncertain in their faith. I have been at many a death bed and have observed the fear in the eyes of people who earlier were so very eager to join Jesus in the mystical world of Heaven and now they quake in terror because the uncertainty has set in. The reality that it might all be just bunk has now become a reality in these minds and God is no where to guide them through this suffering, just as He is no where to be found when children suffer the ravages of dread disease. God id everywhere they say, and was always there regardless of the fact that most Christians attack atheists based on the ‘something from nothing’ argument. How could the universe come from nothing, what happened BEFORE singularity? Well, what happened BEFORE God? God was always there? Impossible, how does something come from nothing? They cannot answer because they have now painted themselves into the very same corner that they tried to paint the atheist in and they always lose because of the application of skeptical rational thinking!
The explanation that you can’t explain everything ends up going both ways and the debate then descends into quoting the bible to prove the bible. The William Lane Craigs and Cye Ten Bruggencates of the world are always defeated by their own circuitous arguments and flawed logic. The simple use of common sense is usually the best defense against ‘smart stupid people’, as Bill Maher calls them. I am always floored when I find out that a renowned scientist or educator believes in the God myth, not because I claim to know everything, but because when researched, the myth appears as just that and you end up having to believe that these people have had something happen in their life that truly scared the shit out of them and God just serves as their security blanket as well.
The simple minded are not the only ones who turn to mythology in times of fear. If one thinks of humankind as just a speck of life on a speck of a planet in a nondescript galaxy, then the perspective is revealed and it makes perfect sense for educated people to fall into the trap of religion. We are NOT special and were NOT made for some ultimate purpose in the galaxy and for modern man to labor under this obvious illusion speaks to the backward nature of the race. Let discrimination over skin color die and I will say that THAT is a significant advance of our species, but we can’t even accomplish something so simple yet.so why is it so disturbing to me that intelligent people believe in fairy tales?
As primitives in the Bronze Age, we surely believed that our existence was some sort of special occurrence and that the stars above our heads were but lamp lights illuminating our sky. Primitive deduction had the sun and stars revolving around the Earth with us as the central figures in the scheme not remotely aware that there were billions upon billions of planets out in observable space. We now are aware of this due to advances in science and no longer need to believe that spirits keep heavenly bodies in motion or that we are special in any way shape or form. Fools such as Ken Ham and other New Earth Creationists are now only akin to Flat Earthers who believe in absolute folly and try unsuccessfully to use existing science to explain the belief in fairy tales. Fools such as these stare into the proof against their ridiculous beliefs and prove their foolishness by pissing in the face of the obvious and trying to twist facts into evidence for idiocy.
I will keep rebutting the Flat Earthers, or God folk by using the science at hand to keep these throwbacks constantly off balance and the grow the cause of skepticism. Only logic and fact are effective against people who refuse to live in a world of reality. Atheism and agnosticism are growing at a rate unstoppable by the legions of believers struggling to keep us in a dark age of ignorance. At this time, these demographics are the fastest growing in the world and will soon overtake the number of those who hide behind blind faith and choose to believe in myth over reality. God is NOT great, because He would actually have to exist to be great and while disasters and illness continue to decimate scores of the faithful, the non believers will continue to actually work to slow this with science and hard work instead of useless prayer. Atheists have no time to waste on praying to the sky spirit as if this equates to rolling up one’s sleeves. Praying is what one does when they want to imagine that they are actually helping. I say, unclasp your hands and don’t insult my intelligence, I don’t believe in sky daddies so get your Goddamn ass off of your knees and do something real! The next time that you comment on a post made by an atheist, please don’t use your mythology to try to prove your baseless myth, and read the evidence before you use the ‘God is eternal’ argument. If the universe couldn’t come from nothing then your God is no immune from that argument either!
Easter isn’t just about chocolate eggs, says David Cameron, but ‘I don’t feel the real importance of the bank holiday has been addressed by our prime minister’. Photograph: Martin Lee/Rex Features
Atheism, for me, came gradually. I was never raised in an overtly religious family, although the requisite Christingle decorations were made, I sang hymns at school and occasionally we attended a special service at the local church. At some point I realised I didn’t believe in God, and hadn’t for a while, which warranted no announcement and batted no eyelids in my family or friendship circles. It was only when I attended university and my experiences diversified that I began to realise just how controversial a lack of faith can be.
I became aware of families who disowned their children for marrying atheists – or worse, becoming them. When I went travelling I learned about spaces in which a non-believer would never be welcome; where openly declaring that one eschewed deities altogether was cause for widespread suspicion. And, for the first time, while having a conversation with two of my best friends (both religious), I came across the criticism that when I celebrated Christian holidays in the UK I was nothing more than a hypocrite.
At first I was willing to cheerily accept my perceived hypocrisy and continue on my way, living my life as I choose to, cognitive dissonance knowingly intact. But as I’ve got older I have come to understand exactly why my atheist family and I celebrate Easter – chocolate in abundance, no mention of resurrection necessary – and I see no hypocrisy. In fact I have come to realise that acknowledgement of the significance of these holidays is socially responsible.
What reduced trading hours on Sundays and public holidays do for society is force us to step off the treadmill – and we shouldn’t underestimate that value. There are sound financial arguments for getting rid of reduced Sunday hours or bank holidays. But we hold steadfastly to the Christmas break and the Easter weekend because we collectively value that time as a positive gift from our ancestors.
The tradition of embracing time away from work with close friends and family, whatever the cause, is one in which everyone of every belief can take part. It is important for a functioning society: it humanises the realities of wages, commutes and working days, where rampant capitalistic overdrive seeks to dehumanise them. It puts a speed limit up where there used to always be one, allows us to reconsider the relatives we live far away from, and has a positive impact on our mental health.
Instead of taking Easter back to religion and arguing that our problem lies in disassociating Christianity from its holidays, Cameron would do better to concentrate on protecting workers from exploitative systems that force them to work over every holiday. He should consider the need for social bonding and time away from the grindstone that unites us all, and therefore concentrate on the most important aspect of this upcoming weekend.
The fact he has ignored these simple truths while spouting Christian fables is what makes him, and not me, the real hypocrite this Easter.
My biggest angst lies with the insipid losers who aren’t ready to back up their religion! At least a fringe fanatic believes in his religion enough to die for it! I guess 90% of people are actually lying about how serious they are! ATHEIST WIN!!…..and I think you Christians KNOW that this is the truth!!