Friday, November 14, 2008

The Only Homeopathic Remedy I Will Ever Recommend.


Homeopathic "medicine" is based on three principals and one unavoidable fact.

1. The Law of Similars. Or, like cures like. 2. The Law of the Infinitesimal Dose. Or, the more diluted a homeopathic solution is, the more potent. 3. Illness is specific to the individual.

The unavoidable fact, of course, is that homeopathy is complete and utter bullshit that does not, can not, and will not work.

This last fact is precisely why I find the idea of a homeopathic remedy perfect for one and only one disease, religion.

The trick is this. We don't treat religion as the disease. We consider religion the homeopathic remedy. Stay with me, I think this could work.

First, "The Law of Similars." We take a societal problem like hatred of gays. Next, we find the religion that hates gays the most and send them in to do the fixing. At this point, it's not sounding like a very good idea. But don't give up yet. Just remember the very important fact that follows the 3 laws.

Next enters "The Law of the Infinitesimal Dose." This is where we take that particular religion and water it down with more reasonable ideas. Slowly chip away at the old religious dogma. Dilute it with sanity. Slowly it becomes more and more powerful (diluted). The proof that this sort of dilution works can be found in Scandanavia, where most people are "christian" but don't follow christian dogma and have the happiest most peaceful societies on earth

Finally, "The Illness is Specific to the Individual." Remember, the "illness" is not religion in this case. The societal problem is. And realistically, societal problems, especially those related to religion are often specific to the individual society.

Admittedly, this is not a perfect fit but it is a useful starting point for a discussion about the cure for religion. I have come to the conclusion that we will never "cure" religion. The best we can hope for is a healthy watering down. I'm also ok with that. As long as religion serves to uplift, comfort, and bring together the members of a society, it can be a good thing. Did I just say that? Yeah, but remember, I'm not talking about religion as it stands in the US today. Think Sweden. Anyway, the only way this is going to happen is if all religion is watered down to the level of say, Santa at christmas time. Nobody thinks he's real, but he makes everyone feel a little better about themselves, a little more giving, and a little less hateful.

The impetus for this post was a three minute video sent to me by Ted.com on the Charter for Compassion. The video has been posted at Pharyngula and has really generated a lot of discussion (currently at 335 comments). Unfortunately, too much of it was very hateful. I despise the bad that comes from organized religion, but I'm learning to recognize the good. And if there is some way to dilute the bad and keep the good I'll feel a little better about the fact that religion is here to stay.

I think that's really what the Charter for Compassion is all about. Recognize that all societies accept and embrace the golden rule. Convince them that it should override any other rule, especially those created by invisible friends in the sky. Spread it around bit by bit. Baby steps.

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Axolotls, Gay Animals, and Geckos, Oh My!


Tangled Bank #118 is a great read. Check it out over at Submitted to a Candid World. Whether you read the message to the prez-elect or just follow a few links and learn something, you won't be bored. Be sure to check out the Axolotls, the smallest gecko, and learn a little something about homosexuality in animals (spoiler: it's not as "unnatural" as people tend to think). I won't steal all the links. Go check it out yourself. It's a wonderful way to waste a morning.

Ain't he cute?

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hobbitsssesss.



Or, more accurately, Homo floresiensis. In case you haven't heard, we've found Bilbo. Yes, Bilbo. I know, the hobbit you know more about is probably Frodo. But Bilbo is "The Hobbit." Frodo didn't even exist until the sequel. Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the Nova episode that I just watched on Homo floresiensis. I didn't catch every detail because I was trying to cook dinner and read a paper on Chara as a nutrient sink in shallow lakes. I didn't finish the paper but I'll get there.

I'm still not sure how convinced I am that H. floresiensis is a new species but even the possibility is exciting. Even more thought provoking is the possibility that somewhere, somehow, a remnant population of hobbits may be scurrying around making stone tools and slaying dragons, er, deer. Imagine the implications.

What would we do if we found a species intelligent enough to make clothing, tools, and weapons? Would we have to consider them human? Would we have debates about whether hobbits should receive full human rights or just half? Would they join our society as equals? Would interspecies marriage be allowed or would Prop 8b shut it down? Would the republicans refuse hobbits the right to vote or would they try the Bilbo for president angle?

I can only imagine that we'd have one hell of a worldwide wakeup call.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Child Abuse Blog

This woman is sick. You can say that religion doesn't "cause" this type of behavior, but I don't know how you can believe that it doesn't encourage it. She's raising a four year old to believe that she is inherently evil.

She is a wretched little girl, who knows she is a wretched sinner who needs only a good saviour to help her. Glory belongs to God!
She makes my brain hurt. Let's follow it up with something humorous. Lil O'Reilly is below the fold. Enjoy and have a nice weekend. I'm off to kill things.

.

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Robert F. Kennedy = Bad Science

Apparently Barack Obama is seriously considering Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to run the EPA. That's very disappointing to me. One of the main reasons that I voted for Obama was that I felt he would embrace science and reason. It was obvious that Palin/McCain were more interested in ridiculing science than advancing it. RFK has been a champion of the environmental cause but not a champion of science. He's taken the bullshit from the anti-vaccine crowd and spread it around using his fame instead of using sound science. See below the fold or the link above for an example of his idiocy. If you're going to make him head of the EPA, why not put Jenny McCarthy in charge of the CDC? I'm concerned, so I sent a message to the Obama transition team. It's a safe bet that Jenny and Rob's minions will too. So, if you are at all concerned about the state of science in this country it wouldn't hurt to add your voice to the fray.

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