Another fight in reddit over Rev. Todd Eklof’s publicity stunt of 2019

For some background, read these earlier blog entries:

https://dalehusband.com/2019/07/12/reopening-old-wounds-among-unitarian-universalists/

https://dalehusband.com/2020/02/25/a-debate-in-the-uu-subreddit-over-the-2017-hiring-controversy/

https://dalehusband.com/2020/07/19/another-call-for-unitarian-universalists-to-stop-fighting-for-consistent-racial-justice/

In reddit, my primary focus has always been debunking and opposing the Baha’i Faith, but I am also dedicated to promoting Unitarian Universalism, despite issues like that above. The occasional hypocrisy that crops up among UUs, unlike that other religion, is not a direct product of its contradictory teachings.

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Being Better Educated and Changing my Opinion

One of my basic principles of being an Honorable Skeptic is what I call the malleability of my opinions, as expressed this way:

Because I am honorable, I sometimes willingly concede points made by my opponents in debates with them. This should never be seen as a sign of weakness. When I know I am right about something, I will fight to the bitter end to support my case and discredit my opponent because in some cases I do see my battles as a struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, or ignorance and knowledge. But I am also willing at times to listen to my opponent and consider his point of view, especially if that person is known by me to be honorable. If we do not listen to others, how can we ever grow in knowledge?

In the past, I opposed the legal concept of statutory rape, thinking it an outdated and irrational one, much like laws in the past banning homosexual relations or interracial unions. But recent events have made me reconsider my position and try to understand why otherwise enlightened people would be so insistent that teens should never be allowed to have romantic and sexual relations with older partners, even of their own choosing.

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Confronting a Christian evangelist in YouTube

Watch this video:

In the comments section, this person popped up to begin preaching, proving that some Christian idiots simply don’t know when to shut up and act like adults.

do you guys really believe that nothing created everything?😂 Anyways, God loves you!😁❤
———————————————————————————————————————-
@Let’s Discuss with Eliza Well, for us, God is spirit. It doesn’t mean that you can’t see, it doesnt exist. Like “air” for example its not visible for human eyes but that doesnt mean it doesnt exist. When I look at my surroundings, seeing so much detail in everything I see..it makes it impossible for me that it just pops up out of nowhere..i mean thats “scientifically” impossible.. Well thats just my opinion on that, and I respect your opinion too.😄 Godbless!
——————————————————————————————————————–
@FHI Simple, because God is a just God.. would a just judge allow rapist, thiefs, murderers, adulteres, etc. to be free without justice?😊 In fact we are all guilty for these stuff (luke 18:19) and that is why God gave us his only son as a sacrifice for our sins because of his great love for us. (romans 6:23)Even if you dont believe, that doesn’t change his love for you. (God is the alpha and the omega, He is self existing and is not affected by time)😉 Yes, we dont deserve such kind of goodness but thats just how He is. I would glady answer if you any questions😄 hope that helps..
————————————————————————————————————————-
@FHI Do you understand the purpose of the commandments given by God? Now Imagine a world without rules..no punishments, no discipline, no consequences..would you think it would be a great world to live in where humans lives like wild, using their preference in choosing what is good for them like for ex. “It feels good so why not”. (thats what most rapist,murderers,etc. usually use it as an explanation)
—————————————————————————————————————————
@FHI Every other Religion gets you to try and save yourself like falling from a cliff and just flapping your arms hoping. In Christianity, He already did that for you. Thats the difference.. and dont even get me started on how I grew up, Im probably worse than you haha.. I was actually an athiest before. Even after my parents converted, I hated them coz For me, its just a waste of time and the “money thing” stereotype. I hated them so much but later on God saved me from having a sinful life and he is still transforming me till now.. I hope that you read everything on top coz i feel like you still don’t understand what I mean.. Open your heart brother🙂
—————————————————————————
So I decided to give this person a verbal body slam.
@TheChosenOne Official No one believes nothing created everything. At least we admit to not knowing where the universe came from. Your assumption that a god or gods must have done it omits one thing…..evidence for such creators.
—————————————————————————————————————–
@TheChosenOne Official ” I was actually an athiest before….. later on God saved me from having a sinful life and he is still transforming me till now.” I doubt your claim and in any case it doesn’t matter. You were probably a terrible atheist and thus we are better off without you.
Then I nailed him to the wall with this:
The Chosen One vomited: “God is a just God.. would a just judge allow rapist, thiefs, murderers, adulteres, etc. to be free without justice?”
What about a corrupt judge who employs mass murderers, rapists and even child molesters to do his bidding?
Moses said, “Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.” (Numbers 31 17-18)
See you in hell, hypocrite!

Talk about shocking religious scandals!

 

A debate in the UU subreddit over the 2017 hiring controversy.

For some background, read these:

What integrity in leadership looks like

Stop whining about “censorship”!

A Critical Mistake in the UU World

Reopening Old Wounds Among Unitarian Universalists

Now, the issues dealt with in those blog entries are being rehashed yet again in a UU subreddit.

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Confronting Scott Hakala on Quora

Quora is a social media site where people can pose questions on all sorts of subjects and get answers from others. One of the most frequent posters on it is Scott Hakala, a Baha’i apologist.

Before I tell about my fight with him there, I must supply a bit of background.
For more than a year and a half after I made an account on reddit, Hakala, using the pseudonym “DavidBinOwen”, would often invade the ExBaha’i subreddit and relentlessly attack its members with counter arguments to things they would write. Then after wreaking havoc for a few days or weeks, he would disappear only to return weeks or months later. Things got so frustrating that Wahid Azal decided to do something to force the admin of that subreddit to deal with Hakala once and for all. So he posted these:
https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/cnzclf/why_are_the_moderators_of_this_site_consistently/

https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/co4u0o/beware_non_and_exbahais_of_this_subreddit/

I knew this might lead to Azal being banned from the subreddit, so to prevent that, I sent private messages to all the admin, playing “good cop” to Wahid Azal’s “bad cop”. My efforts paid off; nothing was done to Azal, but Hakala was FINALLY banned permanently from the subreddit.

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The Ultimate Baha’i Delusion?

I posted the following on reddit last week:

https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/8ejifq/the_ultimate_bahai_delusion/

Question: What do you think is the ultimate delusion of the Baha’i Faith? There need be no “right” or “wrong” answer here, but I need some opinions on how best to deal with Baha’i apologists like a certain one that keeps invading this subreddit.

You should see the discussion that resulted!

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Stop whining about “censorship”!

With the controversy boiling over last year about white supremacy in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) remaining unaddressed for far too long, we also must confront another thorny issue: freedom of speech.
Read this:
https://trulyopenmindsandhearts.blog/2018/02/03/sticks-stones-and-names/

We children were taught to love our country especially for its freedom of religion and speech — the freedom to be different. After all, our parents or grandparents left their homes, often in the face of persecution, to come to a new home that accepted minorities who practiced a religion other than the majority Protestantism.

In my family, just three or four years before I was born, Nazi firing squads and gas chambers had taken the lives of my father’s sister and brother, their spouses and their children. If someone occasionally called us a name, well…

Sticks and stones…

This was the land of free expression, after all.

Another phrase more elegantly sums up what I was taught about how thongs [sic] should be in the United States:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

There was one flaw then in that freedom of expression. Many of our lansmen — our fellow Jewish Americans — were being denounced as Communists. Just an accusation was enough to ruin someone life. My parents and neighbors in the 1950’s hated and feared McCarthyism. Aside from war, there wasn’t much we hated and feared as much. It was another form of persecution.

Democratic ideals and common sense ended McCarthyism, at least as it then existed. Liberals and moderates of both parties despised it.

When I entered college in 1964, my cohort was beginning its rebellion against the slow pace of civil rights and, for a minority of us, against the Vietnam war. It would be a few more years before the Vietnam protest movement went mainstream, so I had a lot of angry fists shook in my face, and I was called names. My mother worried that I was setting myself up to be a victim of a revived McCarthyism.

But I persisted. I didn’t break any laws. I didn’t commit civil disobedience. I marched in protests and spoke out, because after all this is a nation where freedom of expression prevails.

That’s why the frog in me didn’t notice the water heating up over the last 60 years until it bubbled around me last April.

I wrote a blog post objecting to the way big decisions are made by the Unitarian Universalist Association. The case in point was a controversy over the pace at which the UUA was hiring and promoting persons of color, but I didn’t express an opinion on that. Nevertheless, a lay leader of the Black Lives movement in UUism made an 18-minute video condemning me for my “fuck-shot behavior” and racism, her white ministerial ally wrote that my “abhorrent BS” was a “thinly veiled cry that the colored folks are getting uppity and need to be put back in their place, ” and that was just the beginning.

My inner frog still didn’t understand, though, how much the water had heated — how much our norms had changed. I reacted not by asking that my critics be silenced but by writing in reply. Surely, in this land of free speech and opinion anyone could read what I and my critics had to say and support my freedom of expression.

That’s when the water boiled over. The UUA removed from its Worship Web a litany I had written in 1999, which had been used as a worship resource since then. Only after I discovered it was missing did I get a reason:

Your submissions were removed because your recent public comments made it difficult for these pieces to be interpreted in the way they had been before. As our Association struggles with the nature of whiteness’ supremacy, we have to reexamine past assumptions, such as the assumption that a piece of writing can be interpreted independent of its source.

Thus spoke that most liberal of liberal religions. Words I wrote in 1999, with no reference to race, needed to be expunged so that the UUA in 2017 could have a “hard and honest conversations about racial inequity in Unitarian Universalism.” My opinions in 2017 invalidated my words of 1999.

In the 1950’s and ’60’s, it was the left that stood for freedom of expression, even if that expression might to psychological harm, like burning a draft card. Today, it’s the left that wants to stamp out micro-aggressions, like asking someone with an accent where he or she (another micro-aggression against neutral-gender folks) is originally from.

It’s the right now standing for freedom of conscience over the possible psychological harm to one group, like a baker’s option to refuse to bake and decorate a cake specifically for a gay wedding. The roles have reversed.

What really happened was that Mel Pine freely expressed his opinions about a sensitive and controversial issue among his fellow UUs, others responded in anger to him because they found his opinions offensive, and the UUA, a private religious organization, removed a piece of his writings from its website because it no longer saw a benefit to having it there, which is what it is legally allowed to do! Pine was not sent to prison, arrested by police, or even given a ticket by the police for his expressions. His blogs are still up and he is still allowed to post his ideas on Facebook too. NO ONE had his rights violated in that case. Pine doth protest too much. So do right-wing assholes like Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart.com infamy. He hasn’t been punished by a government either.

When people actually get fined or imprisoned for their words by the government they live under, then we should worry about freedom of speech (and the press) being denied.

free_speech

I have the right to throw off my property people who come on it making racist remarks, don’t I?

My Battle on Amazon with a Haifan Baha’i

This blog entry is a direct sequel to this earlier one: A Lost History of the Baha’i Faith

The book was put up for sale on Amazon.com, and just as I and Eric Stetson expected, Haifan Baha’is took notice of it and proceeded to attack it, even without bothering to read its contents.

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-History-Bahai-Faith-Progressive/dp/0692331352/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

on July 13, 2015
This is NOT a good history of the Baha’i Faith. It is a very biased history. This would be comparable of the history of the message of Jesus Christ written by Judas Iscariot or by Caiaphas, the Jewish priest who organized His death sentence.
If you REALLY want a good and well authenticated history of the Baha’i Faith, you should try “Baha’u’llah & the New Era” by John Esslemont, a British citizen, or “God Passes By” by Shoghi Effendi, the grandson of the founder, who was educated
at Oxford with a particular interest in history.

“Classical” Atheism vs. “Contemporary” Atheism

Once again, I find myself dealing with the tiresome issue of the competing definitions of Atheism. See my previous blog entries on this subject for references:

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/atheism-is-a-dogma-get-over-it/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/misdefining-terms-for-purposes-of-propaganda/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/make-up-your-minds-atheists/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/richard-dawkins-is-an-agnostic/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/is-agnostic-an-obsolete-term/

Now I learn that Aron-Ra, a fellow Texan and activist against promoting Creationist bigotry and lies in public schools, has not only accepted the “contemporary” definition of atheism, he asserts that the “classical” definition of it was a lie all along! Really??? Continue reading

Racism among Atheists too?

Jen McCreight, author of the blog Blag Hag, now finds herself having to confront the ugly issue of racism among her fellow atheists after she and other women dealt so much and for so long with sexism among them. I will provide links to her blog entries in question along with excerpts from them.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2013/08/on-silencing-anger-to-silence-minority-voices/

My favorite thing to wake up to in the morning is white straight cis men insisting they get to decide who your allies are and that you should not ever get angry, but rather calmly explain basic topics to hostile questions from every person that wanders across your path as if it were your personal duty on this earth. Continue reading

Style over Substance in the Presidential Debate

 

To be honest, I did not watch for very long the Presidential debate last night, because I was quite sure I would only hear what I’d already heard a great many times from reading Facebook posts and articles in news sources, hearing personal comments from friends and relatives and seeing political ads on TV. Five minutes of the debate was all I could stand, because Obama compared his economy policies to that of President Clinton before him, which I already knew about. Neither candidate impressed me much.

I was therefore surprised to learn afterwards that most people thought Romney won the debate because he was more aggressive and charismatic than Obama, never mind that before Obama became President he was known for being quite charismatic. So what happened?

I could not care less how slick a person’s presentation may look or sound if it is full of nonsense or lies. You win a debate, in my view, by doing two things: Telling the truth consistently, and having a position that treats fairly the most people possible. And by that criteria, Obama is the superior candidate. If people vote for Romney and not Obama because one of them is better at the gift of gab, why not just elect someone like Hitler, who was one of the most dynamic speakers of the 20th Century?

 

A question of incest

I just got a comment from someone named Sally. Rather than approve it where it was placed, I will copy and paste it here in green, along with the identifying information on it, and attempt to respond to its  points in red.

Sally
sallyfancy@hotmail.com
200.127.106.252

I have a question for you, please don’t consider that I’m attacking you.

Usually when someone opens with something like that, he is about to make a statement that really IS an attack. 

I like how you expose ignorants and bigots in this blog, but I fail to notice something important now you’re bringing up the subject of homophobia. As a bisexual woman myself in a same-sex long term relationship, I am definitely against homophobia, and as a liberal person I condemn any kind of discrimination. I’m also agnostic, so I don’t refrain from critizing religions. So far I guess we pretty much agree in our views, but I haven’t seen you (maybe you did and I’m not aware) critizing the criminalization of consensual incest between adults.

Of course, she would equate the prohibition of incest with the prohibition of homosexuality, since both were condemned in the Bible and in all Abrahamic religions. But just because the Bible condemns something doesn’t make that thing good for atheists to accept. Unless you think atheists should also accept stealing and murder.

Please note that I’m not talking about incestuous rape or incestuous abuse of minors, only consensual incest and between consenting adults. I’m sure you’re aware that consenting adults involved in consensual incestuous relationships are going to jail, punished by archaic laws because of a victimless crime like this.

I wonder if she saw my blog entries about prostitution. But even prostitution is not the same as incest, just as homosexuality is not the same as incest.

I’m not incestuous myself nor planning to ever be, but seeing how a good number of people is threatened with a long imprisonment (until 14 years in Canada, for example) only for loving a person of their family causes me too much indignation, even more noting that almost none of these self-avowed liberal activists seem to care or speak in their favour.

Loving a family member? Sorry, but in fact I do not equate “love” with having sex. If you do, I think you have some serious issues.

Please, if you really hate hypocrisy and bigotry this much, I encourage you to show support to consenting incestuous adults, they deserve to live and love in freedom.

Hypocrisy is when you profess a system of values that you fail to live up to in practice. Since I have never professed support for legalizing incest, I would not be a hypocrite. As for bigotry, that charge would make sense only if it could be proven that incest was something as fundamental to human nature as skin color. All the evidence indicates just the opposite. Unlike homosexuals, who are compelled by their nature to engage in sexual relations with members of their own gender, there is no evidence that people who practice incest are obeying some natural instinct. In most cases, there are plenty of other possible mates for the incestuous partners to avoid having sex with each other.

And I beg you not to perpetuate the offensive “deformed offspring” myth, deformed is NEVER an aceptable [sic] word to qualify a human being. 

Why not? It’s only descriptive of the person’s physical nature. It’s not a racial slur like the N-word is for black people of African descent.

Yes, disabled children may be born from incestuous couples, but most of consenting incestuous couples are NOT interested in having offspring and even if they can’t help loving a relative they’re consciously against inbreeding, besides sex is not longer only for procreation purposes (my partner and I are both women and still have sex, that’s pretty much self-explanatory), and contraceptives and sterilization exist for a good reason.

You earlier called the issue of “deformed offspring” a myth, then admitted it is not so. It seems interesting that you try to make incest more palatable by claiming that incestuous couples need not have children, but in fact there are cases of such couples who do, and often those children ARE deformed. Indeed, ONE such child resulting from such a union would be one too many!

Consensual incest between adults cause no harm to anybody, people shouldn’t be punished for loving or having sex with another consenting adult. Please, help us end the hatred and spread the tolerance, it’s very much appreciated.

Incest is harmful because it limits genetic diversity in the offspring that result from it, and thus it negates the most obvious evolutionary benefits of sexual reproduction, indeed making it pointless.  The accumulation of recessive genetic mutations results in a inbred line being weakened over time. Consider this sad case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inbreeding#Royalty_and_nobility

  • One of the most famous example of a genetic disorder aggravated by royal family intermarriage was the House of Habsburg, which inmarried particularly often. Famous in this case is the Habsburger (Unter) Lippe (Habsburg jaw/Habsburg lip/”Austrian lip”) (mandibular prognathism), typical for many Habsburg relatives over a period of six centuries.[24] The condition progressed through the generations to the point that the last of the Spanish Habsburgs, Charles II of Spain, could not properly chew his food.[25]
  • Besides the jaw deformity, Charles II also had a huge number of other genetic physical, intellectual, sexual, and emotional problems. It is speculated that the simultaneous occurrence in Charles II of two different genetic disorders: combined pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis could explain most of the complex clinical profile of this king, including his impotence/infertility which in the last instance led to the extinction of the dynasty.

And it’s not just humans that are affected badly by inbreeding. Animals like dogs in Japan have also suffered as well!

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/28/business/28dogs.html?pagewanted=all

Rare dogs are highly prized here, and can set buyers back more than $10,000. But the real problem is what often arrives in the same litter: genetically defective sister and brother puppies born with missing paws or faces lacking eyes and a nose.

There have been dogs with brain disorders so severe that they spent all day running in circles, and others with bones so frail they dissolved in their bodies. Many carry hidden diseases that crop up years later, veterinarians and breeders say.

Kiyomi Miyauchi was heartbroken to discover this after one of two Boston terriers she bought years ago suddenly collapsed last year into spasms on the living room floor and died. In March, one of its puppies died the same way; another went blind.

Ms. Miyauchi stumbled across a widespread problem here that is only starting to get attention. Rampant inbreeding has given Japanese dogs some of the highest rates of genetic defects in the world, sometimes four times higher than in the United States and Europe. 

<snip>

Hirofumi Sasaki, a pet store owner in the western city of Hiroshima, has seen so many defective dogs that last year he converted an old bar into a hospice to care for them. So far he has taken in 32 dogs, though only 12 have survived.

One is Keika, a deaf 1-year-old female dachshund with eyes that wander aimlessly. Her breeder was originally selling her for about $7,500 because she is half-white, a rare trait in dachshunds.

“That is an unnatural color, like a person with blue skin,” Mr. Sasaki said.

The breeder told Mr. Sasaki that he had bred a dog with three generations of offspring — in human terms, first with its daughter, then a granddaughter and then a great-granddaughter — until Keika was born. The other four puppies in the litter were so hideously deformed that they were killed right after birth. 

Therefore, my decision is that I will NOT support legalizing incest. I don’t want to see any more people like Charles II or those unfortunate puppies in the future.

The ultimate blow to global warming denialism

Denialists are not interested in truth or consistency of any kind. Instead, they have a dogma and an agenda and will take advantage of any arguments that serve these things, even if those arguments don’t really fit together. Nowhere does this become more obvious than in the issue of global warming.

John Cook, who runs the website Skeptical Science, has assembled a long list of contradictions made by global warming denialists. With this, he and other contributers totally wreck what little credibility these political and pseudoscientific hacks ever had!

http://www.skepticalscience.com/contradictions.php

 

Rebecca Watson vs Stef McGraw

The controversy over “Elevatorgate” just keeps getting more riotous. Now Rebecca Watson has gotten into a catfight with another “freethinking” blogger and student named Stef McGraw.

First, McGraw attacked Rebecca for her supposed hypocrisy:

http://www.unifreethought.com/2011/06/fursdays-wif-stef-32.html

Someone who truly abides by feminist principles would, in my view, have to react in the same manner were the situation reversed; if a woman were to engage a man in the same way, she would probably be creeping him out and making him uncomfortable and unfairly sexualizing him, right? But of course no one ever makes that claim, which is why I see Watson’s comment as so hypocritical.

If you really want social equality for women, which is what feminism is, why not apply the same standards to men and women, and stop demonizing men for being sexual beings?

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Why peace activists (and critics of religion) sometimes fail

I just read something interesting in this article:

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/4749/why_liberal_religious_arguments_fail/

I participated for a time in a Los Angeles-area peace and justice group, an interfaith group filled with good and righteous people. Following the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, it was decided that we should be reaching out to area congregations to ask if we could provide them with guest speakers who would then tell the members of those congregations just how wrong and pointless the war and occupation was. There were few takers. Meanwhile, but on a separate track, this same group was establishing relationships with returning soldiers and military family members who opposed the war. I suggested that we might ask congregations whether they would care to hear from a service member or a military family member, someone who would simply tell their story, rather than hear from one of the well-briefed peaceniks. My suggestion was rejected, as this would have deprived the peaceniks of a chance to sound off about how wrong (how very wrong) George W. Bush and Don Rumsfeld had been in regard to principles of international law. I withdrew from the group shortly thereafter.

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Keith Olbermann responds to a stupid “tweet”.

christine espinosa
aller3 christine espinosa
@KeithOlbermann Tell you idiot friend O’Donnell that we will fight socialism. Nothing in life is free. Social programs have failed dumb dumb
Keith Olbermann
KeithOlbermann Keith Olbermann
@aller3 Kindly send the government the tolls you didn’t pay on all free highways. Also all of your relatives’ social security, Medicare etc
Make of that what you will.

A denialist makes seductive, but hollow, claims

Check out this comment at the Intersection blog at the Discover Magazine website:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/08/18/will-you-shut-up-just-a-second-will-you-stop-shouting-hard-lessons-in-science-communication/#comment-67676

39.   Steve Says:
August 19th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

AGW proponents argue from a faith in models, implying that we can only postulate what will happen because a real experiment cannot be run. Sadly for AGW proponents, Earth has run the massive atmospheric CO2 experiment. Proxy data shows that atmospheric CO2 has been 10 – 20 times what it is today. The result? The planet survived. It even thrived. Was it warmer than today? For certain periods, yes, it was. But, for other periods, it was colder. These facts alone should be enough to educate an open mind that CO2 is NOT strongly correlated to temperature and catastrophic global warming is impossible.

Lest one think that the proxy data cannot be trusted, we have evidence within recent history of the same result. First, however, a primer. It is well known that temperature follows a logarithmic function in the presence of rising CO2 levels. That is, temperature rises more at a lower CO2 range increase (say, from 100ppm to 150ppm) than at a higher CO2 range increase (say, from 300ppm to 350ppm) . From roughly 1940 to present, CO2 has been increasing. If AGW theory is correct (i.e. CO2 is THE major variable controlling global temperature), then there should be a strong, logarithmic correlation between temperatures and rising CO2 levels after 1940. That is, a larger temperature increase between, say, 1940 – 1950 as opposed to 1990 – 2000. What we see, though, is that global temperature actually decreased slightly between roughly 1940 – 1970 (culminating in the ice age scare) before beginning a roughly 3 decade increase (culminating in the AGW scare). In addition, over half of the global temperature increase of the 20th century occurred BEFORE 1940, when CO2 levels were fairly constant. An open mind that follows data to arrive at a conclusion would rightly conclude that CO2 is NOT a major variable in global temperature.

Frankly, I don’t care if any kind of cap-and-trade system passes. Energy use will not dissipate. And since fossil fuel holds the most energy density, it will be used. Cap-and-trade will simply increase the cost of everything. People will either: 1) demand more money for their labor in order to maintain their standard of living or 2) get poorer. In the period of economic instability, several individuals and companies will get VERY rich.

By 2100, CO2 will have increased even more. If the trend of the past 200 years continues, global temperatures will increase steadily with 20 -40 year modulations that follow the warm and cold phases of the oceans. Our understanding of bioshpere mechanics will have increased immensely and enough data will have been gathered to know that CO2 is not the boogeyman that grant-seeking “scientists” thought it was. If fossil fuel usage is not declining, it will be much more costly (even in inflation-adjusted terms). If we are smart, nuclear energy will be much more abundant. If we are even smarter, we will have found a way to reprocess the waste for re-use. Energy storage technology will have increased to the point that wind and solar energy can provide a steady stream of power around the clock. They will, however, still be a niche technologies.

Our great-grandchildren will look back on this time and wonder what the f*#k we were thinking and curse us for putting politics ahead of common sense and sound science.

First, the models Steve refers to are based on the physical and chemical laws that govern all of matter. If you wish to debunk those models, you must show either that the models are incomplete or that the laws are incorrect. He has not.

Second, Steve does not specify when the CO2 levels were 10 or 20 times higher than today. Indeed, we can be certain that the Earth’s atmosphere was full of CO2 about four billion years ago, just as Venus’ atmosphere is today. The critical difference between the two planets is that Venus is closer to the Sun, and it has no oceans like Earth does to absorb some of the CO2 and lock it away. It also does not have life, including plants to absorb even more CO2. The reason the Sun did not burn us up hundreds of millions of years ago when the CO2 levels were much higher than today was because the Sun was also much less luminous, as you would expect with a star that had less helium and more hydrogen in its core (Helium is at least four times denser than hydrogen and helium is also what hydrogen fuses into to produce its sunlight. Denser concentrations of gas in the cores of stars will indeed be hotter. Strange that Steve overlooked that). And at most geologic periods,  Earth WAS warmer than today and the sea levels were much higher. But that was not a problem because our civilization did not exist. The concern today is that our civilization is so highly adapted to the specific global climate of the late 20th Century that ANY significant deviation from that will do great damage to that civilization.

Third, Steve ignores that fossil fuels are nonrenewable and when they begin to grow scarce, the price of them will skyrocket anyway. Indeed, the best way to lower the price of fossil fuels at present is to REDUCE DEMAND FOR THEM!  Which is a compelling reason to switch to renewable sources; the only reason we haven’t yet is because the fossil fuel companies have rigged our so-called “free market” economy to support their perpetual dominance. That has to be stopped, or we will end up with fossil fuel companies only getting richer and richer at the expense (literally) of the rest of us, global warming or no global warming. That’s why we need governments to step in and use some kind of force to stop them.

Fourth, CO2 is not THE only factor in climate change. The drop in global temperatures between 1940 and 1970 could have been a temporary halt in global warming, not a sign of cooling, due to factors such as the advent of nuclear energy which largely replaced fossil fuels for a time before accidents like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl lessened public support for the use of nuclear fuels, making fossil fuels more popular once again. And since we have had reliable CO2 measurements only since the 1950s, we cannot say for certain what global CO2 levels were prior to that decade. So his claim that “over half of the global temperature increase of the 20th century occurred BEFORE 1940, when CO2 levels were fairly constant,” is unfounded.

Steve is not open-minded at all. He is an idiot who beleives the denialist claims without testing them, as I have.

The Two Central Dogmas of the Climate Change Debate

The two sides of the climate change or global warming debate are:

  1. Man-made Global warming theory (MMGWT) Proponents (MPs)
  2. MMGWT Denialists (MDs)

Each side is backed up by a “central dogma”. The central dogma is a claim that if debunked discredits the entire movement.

The central dogma of MPs is “that there are greenhouse gases that act to retain heat, which in turn can change climate over time”.

The central dogma of MDs is “that man cannot change climate, no matter what he does”.

Ironically, the MPs’ “central dogma” is NOT a dogma at all, since it can be tested via experiment on actual samples of gases said to be “greenhouse”, which can be peer reviewed and is reproducible by others.

By contrast, the MDs’ central dogma really is a dogma, since there is no way to debunk it. No matter what records you present to show an increase of greenhouse gases like CO2 since the 1950s, no matter what temperature records over the past century or so you present, no matter what records of solar activity you present, MDs will always come up with excuses for rejecting the case of the MPs, including arguing that the records must have been faked. So the position of the MDs is unscientific because it is non-falsifiable.

Well, you cannot fake experimental data. If the “central dogma” of the MPs were indeed false, it would have been debunked many decades ago. Instead, it is so well supported that this “central dogma” is considered as much a fact as anything else in science could be.

So MDs avoid the MPs’ “central dogma” and instead constantly argue around it. They confuse uncertainty about global warming models and projections with reasons to deny them completely. They also note the many natural causes of climate change as if that alone supports their central dogma. Both of these are logical fallacies called  non-sequiturs. They harp about the few remaining scientists who are MDs as if their credentials alone make them credible. But they don’t, because even scientists with PhDs and tenures at universities can be profoundly wrong, especially if they have ideological or financial reasons to corrupt their science.

MPs do not have to attack the central dogma of MDs because, as I showed above, it is unscientific. They just have to point out that it really is a dogma, nothing more.

VenomFangX, the biggest liar on YouTube!

VenomFangX, aka Shawn, is a teenager (or at least appears to be one) and self-styled Christian evangelist who has made a total @$$ of himself on YouTube for at least a couple of years. He has gained quite a following among his fellow Christians there, as well as redicule and scorn from skeptics who have had the misfortune of dealing with him. And in a battle with one user in particular named ThunderfOOt, he got totally clobbered for engaging in violations of the YouTube terms of service and for legal reasons was forced to admit his wrongdoings on a video for all to see.

 

Now, if this “Christian” had any sense of honor or humility whatsoever, you would expect him to never bother with Thunderf00t again. But instead, he has just pulled this stunt:

Shawn, Shawn, SHAWN! Ray Comfort is no match for Thunderfoot, and that’s obvious. For you to call Thunderfoot wrong when YOU are the one who engaged in dishonorable behavior against him is totally bogus!

You are a FRAUD and so is your religion, period! If you cannot learn from your mistakes and just GROW UP and live like a man and not like a little boy, you can GO FUCK YOURSELF!

In the description of his video, VenomFangX says:

“Thunderf00t displayed all the weaknesses in the naturalistic philosophy. It robs people of a basic appreciation and value of human life over that of animals, and ultimately all life is seen as nothing more than complex machinery with our consciousness being little else than a spark of electricity. When morality and ethics are brought up, it is impossible for Thunderf00t to articulate a coherent answer, after all, speaking of right and wrong according to an electrical current is pretty silly, don’t you think, Thunderf00t?”

No, what is silly is you engaging in such a lame strawman. The notion that life is merely glorified chemistry is exactly what modern science has revealed over the past few centuries, and if you are too much of a coward to deal honesty with that, that’s your problem. It need not be anyone else’s.

Who are you to assume that because we are an assembly of extremely complex molecules, we have been robbed of anything? That is entirely an unfounded assumption on your part. If you need your delusional religion to feel that you have some dignity in your life, then YOU are the one that is robbed……of rational thinking! People are valuable because we as a species are unique, just as every species is unique and adapted to their environments and lifestyles. You don’t need religion at all to live in harmony with your fellow men or with other species. You just don’t! And how can you imply that putting man on the same level of value with animals somehow makes man worthless? Do you need us all to be as arrogant as you to feel better about yourself? What a terrible weakness!

No wonder your religion is dying, hypocrite!

UPDATE (Jan 7, 2010): After another round of dishonorable behavior, VenomfangX has been called out by another YouTube user, dprjones:

Think he will listen this time? I think not.

The Great Depression debate

This is my third blog entry in a row about economics.

If you have never lived through the Great Depression, it’s possible that you either don’t know what you are talking about, or are lying outright to promote some form of ideological extremism.

First look at this:

This is a video by Shane Killian, a Libertarian activist. While I admire the man for his work on defending evolution and attacking pseudoscience, he seems to be out of his league when it comes to economics, as the next video clearly shows:

Killian then proceeds to rewrite history regarding the Great Depression:

What bull$#it! Quite simply, if the New Deal was such a failure, then why did FDR not become a one term President?. Why, indeed, was he elected no less than FOUR TIMES!?

Because the Great Depression was the worst economic crisis ever in American history, it may be considered uncharted territory. Our government had to experiment to find a solution. Some things attempted during the Great Depression worked better than others, but it was hardly true that the New Deal was a total failure and that World War II finally got us out of the Depression! Indeed, if our economy had not recovered to a reasonable degree by 1941, we would never have been able to wage World War II so well! The right-wing extremists got the issue EXACTLY backwards! War is more likely to destroy a struggling economy than to strengthen it!

So why did Killain make the claims he did? Two reasons.

  1. He is a Libertarian. While the ideals of free market economics promoted by that party are indeed admirable, they are also purely a theroetical concept. In the real world, a completely free market CANNOT EXIST FOREVER! If you allow a capitalist economy to run on its own without any government intervention, we will only fall into a depression eventually and stay there PERMENANTLY! Killian’s faith in the “free market” is no better than religious fanaticism.
  2. He is brilliant on some subjects, therefore he assumes that he must be right on ALL subjects. But that is simply not true of anyone. No one knows or understands everything equally well. Myself included.