Sunday, 7 December 2014



How are you ? What have been your highlights of 2014 ?
I am still celebrating that Scotland is still part of the U.K. after the 18th September referendum.
Near ideal weather for barley & hay here this year.
The autumn had plenty of warm sunny weather so I went windsurfing at  about 20 times. The best wind speed was on 1st & 2nd November with 20mph, it still was ok temperature. Quite amazing whizzing between the waves which look quite big up close but probably maximum 4ft.

Hope there will be some snow at Glenshee in January, it was good fun last year.

I have been enjoying Youtube & Wikipedia & Facebook & Twitter. Really amazing to be able to explore the ideas you want when you want. I am working my way through the endless music & soundtrack videos & astronomy etc.  Also super being able to catch up on music half heard on the car radio.

The free planetarium software is amazing. It allows the user to set whatever location in the world they like & also fast forward and reverse time. This is great for watching the moons of Jupiter orbiting it.

some musical favourites, in no particular order

I heard on Radio 3 that the John William's theme tune for Star Wars may have been inspired by the theme for "Kings Row" ,a 1942 film which made Ronald Reagan a star, the music was by Erich Korngold.

Kosenko - Passacaglia in G minor
Dohnanyi - Passacaglia in E-flat minor
S.Prokofiev - Toccata in d minor 0p.11
Phamie Gow - Annandale
Megadeth - A Tout Le Monde 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The John Loftus tornado plucks house of God up & drops it on witch of east

Here is a symbolic photo of the works of John Loftus shown as a tornado somewhere over the rainbow in Kansas and with any luck it will pluck the farmhouse of God up off its sandy foundations and let it drop on the Wicked witch of the East.

Robert M.Price mentions,"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" in his book,"The reason driven life" ( Temp job,chapter 27)

"The journey turns out to be the goal, though they did not know it at the time. Because in the process of overcoming all the obstacles that blocked their way to Oz, they brought forth from within themselves just the things they thought they lacked. The Lion defied danger to rescue his friends. The Scarecrow was the master strategist in outwitting the Wicked Witch. The Tin Man acted out of the very compassion he thought could never exist in his hollow shell."

I can't remember if it was another book where Price wrote that; like the Lion, if we have the courage to read through the kaleidoscope of views then we can walk up the yellow brick road to OZ and discover that the mighty Wizard (God) is just the voice of a human like ourselves. 

There are a lot of similarities between how Muslim apologists treat Coranic stories like,"The splitting of the moon" [see wikipedia article] and how Christian apologists try to excuse stories such as the three hours of darkness that Luke 23v44-45 says happened at Jesus crucifiction [see Jesusneverexistd youtube video,"Three most stupid verses in the gospels" where Ken explains how some try to explain the darkness as a solar eclipse"]
Why can't they just ask themselves,"Was the author just making stuff up?" Maybe they would then have to admit that there are lies in their holy book. What if the author had said,"These stories are just made up" would that allow them to be read as religious fiction ?
  The Islamic crescent is too wildly distorted to be a crescent moon but not so far off being like a solar eclipse where the moon is aphelion. Maybe this is symbolic of how Islam (as the dead moon) threatens to blot out the sunshine of liberty, intellectual freedom & democracy ? How can the moon be split in two ? Actually you would think that when a Muslim tries to research astronomy to find ways in which to defend the tale that the moon was split in two around 630AD that they would eventually conclude that it simply never happened. At least such a person had the curiosity to investigate but maybe their intelligence is too warped round a black hole to escape?

Sunday, 30 November 2014

I will sing the wondrous story, HYFRYDOL

I will sing the wondrous story
Of the hitch hiker' guide to the galaxy
Arthur Dent left the realms of Earth
For the SS Heart of Gold. 

Yes, Ill sing the wondrous story
Of the hitch hiker' guide to the galaxy
Sing it with the  Slartibartfast                     
Gathered by the crystal fjords.

I had a question to the meaning of everything
And deep found the answer was 42
Then realized they didn't know the ultimate question
For which they would have to build the ultimate computer the narrow way

Yes, Ill sing the wondrous story
Of the hitch hiker' guide to the galaxy
Sing it with the  Slartibartfast                     
Gathered by the crystal fjords.

He will keep me till the river
Rolls its waters at my feet;
Then at last he'll bring me over
saved by grace and made complete.

I was lost, but Jesus found me,
Found the sheep that went astray,
raised me up and gently led me
... to the narrow way.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Listverse: 10 things everyone gets wrong about angels

"Angels from the Realms of Glory" is a Christmas carol written by Scottish poet James Montgomery] It was first printed in the Sheffield Iris on Christmas Eve 1816, though it only began to be sung in churches after its 1825 reprinting in the Montgomery collection The Christian Psalmist
see the original lyrics on Wikipedia
Here is my parody
Angels from the realms of glory,
Winged your flight o'er half the earth;
Ye who sang messiah's story
waited 1500 years to tell America of Messiah's birth
get a move on, get a move on
prevent the crime and heal the sick
Angels from the realms of fiction 
can't save folk from the tyrant's wrath
nor advise of Tsunami awaiting
were ancient authors having a laugh?
Come and help us, come and help us
show you're real if you are there.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Seth Andrews on how Christianity steals good ideas from secular sources

That was a funny quip at 18:50 about the "Get out of hell free" card in BibleOpoly. Maybe so that everyone can play there would be two cards, one in which you say the believers prayer, declare Jesus is Lord & hope for the best and the other where you say,"I've read the books full of reasons by John W.Loftus supporting the idea that it is wildly improbable that there ever was a cosmic hell and also possible that there is no supernatural realm at all. So I'm out free for sure,unlike the Jesus talisman version where there is always that doubt whether you will be damned by an exclusion clause"

Tell me the whole whole story
Atheism can do a bigger better story that encompasses the whole of history and human learning whereas Christianity relies on people not knowing things.

The Bibleman at 19:20 with the plastic lightsabre reminds me of a record cover with an image of a knight in shining armour with sword to advertise the song The Victor by Keith Green. However I recently saw a video of Keith Green preaching where he admitted that there were a lot of bits of the Bible he had never read and when he did he thought,"Whoa, that's heavy"

My sword fight with the idea of hell is: A loving God would either take people to a happily ever after or let them cease to exist at death, so there is nothing to worry about. A perfectly loving God wouldn't have let a hell come into existence and if it had would have cancelled hell as if it never existed. For Jesus to be a hero he would need to save everyone & erase hell. If Jesus won the victory over hell but only saved a few then he is only a little better than the imagined devil, that is just like changing the jailer but keeping the system intact.

What's Wrong With The Gospel? Part 1 by Keith Green
on Youtube channel
This was 1982 after he had been evangelizing many people
2:54 Keith said he was naive, ignorant, a little stupid & foolish about the Bible
4:20 like every new christian I started getting bitter & asking why this wasn't working
4:30 Don't ever study the Bible unless you want your thoughts changed about the truth
5:34 I started studying the Bible and thought; Wait a minute they didn't talk about this part, they skipped from there to there, why did they leave  out that bit..Wow,that's heavy
5:46 Then I started blaming the church
5:56 When a person is a victim long enough they start identifying with the person victimizing them
6:15 The church becomes a victim of a lack of truthful knowledge being presented 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Tried prayer; It didn't work

I tried prayer for decades, it didn’t work.
I slammed the door on the God hypothesis and that did work. It pays to be firm.
The minister I listened to during childhood said,”Don’t close the door on God or you will come to realise too late that the God/heaven/hell thing is real but by then it will be too late, you’ll not be able to get back even though you long to”
Why did it take me so long to think,”If there is no hell then you will have been worrying about nothing, how would the Bible authors know of an unseen supernatural realm when they didn’t predict the essential things that could have been known about the material realm?”
I don’t regret concluding that ‘God’ is a failed hypothesis, an imaginary construct. I wish I had got on the www sooner and read the books of Dan Barker, John W. Loftus, Robert M.Price, C.Dennis McKinsey etc sooner. To me they turn the frightening Babble claims into funny fiction. [See Youtube video, Identifying and Harvesting Wild Thistle on Survival HT channel for an analogy how to chop off the spiny parts of a thistle to get to the nutritious stem. It is the negation of the Babble & Coran which is good]
Hector Avalos in his book,”Fighting words” explains how religion provokes violence by creating imaginary scare resources. Priests make the places in heaven scarce, open only to those who earn a valid ticket.
As a way of reducing religious violence it could help to rewrite the game plan. For peace religious leaders should make the new plan something like:
If there was a loving God then either people would go to a happily ever after or cease to exist at death.
A perfect loving God would not allow a hell to come into existence and if something untoward like that had happened then a God for whom all things were possible would have fixed it as if it had never happened.
If there is no supernatural realm and you put a lot of time & energy into defending the idea that there was a supernatural realm then you will have wasted that investment.
There is an element of hypocrisy in religious leaders standing at the London War Cenotaph when in recent conflicts the texts they endorse have played a large part in causing those deaths. But on the other hand I suppose they show it is possible to stand side by side with people who hold opposing views.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Popocatepetl eruption in 1947, mentioned by Ogden Nash in 1949 Poem

There was a major eruption of Popocatepetl in 1947. Ogden Nash wrote a poem that mentioned it in 1949:  A WORD ABOUT WINTER

Now the frost is on the pane
Rugs upon the floor again
Now the screens are in the cellar
Now the student cons the speller
Lengthy summer noon is gone
Twilight treads the heels of dawn
Round eyed sun is now a squinter
Tiptoe breeze a panting sprinter
Every cloud a blizzard hinter
Squirrel on the snow a printer
Rain spout sprouteth icy splinter
Willy-nilly, this is winter

Summer-swollen door jambs settle
Ponds and puddles turn to metal
Skater whoops in frisky fettle
Gold club stingeth like a nettle
radiator sings like kettle

Runneth nose and chappeth lip
draft evadeth weather strip
doctor wrestleth with grippe
in never-ending rivalship
Rosebush droops in garden shoddy
blood is cold and thin in body
Weary postman dreams of toddy
Head before the hearth grows noddy

On the hearth the embers gleam
glowing like a maiden's dream
now the apple and the oak
paint the sky with chimney smoke
husband now without disgrace 
dumps ashtrays in the fireplace

Married CCCP a brutal state
turned out to be a geat mistake
claustrophobic like the iron maiden
in heaven the marriage was not made in
thought I was signing up to matrimony
but she seemed to think it was acrimony
Cats claws tearing down the glass
Sometimes lying quietly fuming
Rumblings of discontent
before the great eruption
drove me to a tent
Wife is popocatepetl
Full of fury
She the judge and she the jury
Marrying her was catastrophic
but divorcing was cataclysmic 
separated from child by iron curtain
acting more melodramatic than Richard Burton
Weary postman dreams of Lawon's stake and gravy pie
and resting the warm fire by
 maybe partaking of a toddy
before  head becomes too noddy

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Switch to the English common law

Dear Sir,
               I note your sign quoting Ex 20v8-11, "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy". I once heard a man say that if you had worked 6 days of the week then that was enough. Who would want to work everyday ? It is healthy to take a break sometimes.

               I wonder how much you have read of the history of Bible scholarship or the history of archaeology in the Levant? I found it eye opening to read about the religions of ancient Greece, Egypt,Babylonia and Persia.

               I wonder if you have listened to the debates on Premier Christian radio show,"Faith explored" also known as "Unbelievable?" hosted by Justin Brierley ?

               I wonder if you have read, "The reason driven life" by the Bible Geek, Robert M. Price? It is his reply to,"The purpose driven life" by Rick Warren
Valerie Tarico also has an interesting book,"Trusting doubt"

               There are many interesting debates on Youtube for example between William Lane Craig and Bart Ehrman.

There is ambiguity in the Bible, everyone reads a different interpretation.
However what about Paul's writing in Romans about being free from the O.T. law
Romans 3v28 We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
Romans 13v10 Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law
1 Corinthians 6v12 " Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial"
Galations 5v1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery
Gal 5v18 But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the O.T. law
Ex 34v17 shows the second attempt at writing the tenth commandment, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk"  Is that of cosmic importance.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

What would a real god have written on tablets of stone ?

Having watched Brian Cox on “Human universe” talking about the solar location map on the Voyager Probe Golden record, I wonder if such a diagram might have been more useful on the tablets of stone than the second attempt 10th Commandment as seen in Exodus 34v26,”Do not cook a young goat in its mothers milk” [use a slow cooker with olive oil, onions & carrots instead]

How come the tablets of stone went missing (last reported as being in the Ark of the covenant in the temple) and none of the Bible authors even notices or at least never comment? If the Bible tales had been real wouldn’t there be real angels guarding the real tablets on display in a museum to this very day?

It would have been useful to have instructions for making lenses for telescopes and microscopes.
A real god wanting the commandments to circulate could have given them in three languages on same tablets like the Rosetta stone to aid translation, could have had Egyptian hieroglyph, Hebrew and Greek.

Interesting to see real life extant law codes e.g Hammurabi code of 1754 BCE, also the ancient Egyptian 42 negative confessions (though they weren’t a law code as such)

11th commandment: Observation beats revelation any day.

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Vicar of Dibley

"Vicar of Dibley jumps in puddle" is one of the funniest IMO, it is on Youtube Maria DelVecchio channel. One comment puts it at season three episode one 'autumn'
Was Jim (played by Trevor Peacock) a parody on the Bible ? Yes yes yes, no,no
Ex Preacher John W. Loftus describes the Bible as a book at war with itself, with each author trying to subtly refute or ammend previous ones.
Higher criticism of the Bible can be quite funny.
Did "The Vicar of Dibley" mention Exodus 34v26 which puts the 10th commandment on the second set of tablets as, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk"?
Or what about the idea of wave offerings as seen in Exodus 29v26, "Wave the breast of a ram before the lord before you put it on your barbecue" ?
Numbers 6v20 has a similar idea. I have never done that before serving my guests at the BBQ, will I be struck down as allegedly happened to Herod in Acts 12v23 for merely failing to give praise to God ? One wonders why this didn't happen to other tyrants in history? Would have saved a lot of trouble.
Bible Geek Robert M. Price does a lot of funny lines in his books, such as "The reason driven life". In chapter 36,"Made into missionaries" , paragraph "You are the salt of the earth" he mentions the idea that if you are in a hurry and can't be bothered with the Jehovah Witnesses at your door then you could say, "I wish the rapture would happen right now and whisk you away"the 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Love and Hate

I admire this high resolution article by Jerry Coyne, it shows his eye for detail and demonstrates how to make comments that are specific, to the point, accurate.
I wonder if there is a comparison with image resolution? There is a good illustration on Wikipedia:
I wonder if early human language was like ZX-81 resolution?
It is so easy to make generalized, exaggerated, conflated comments like, “I hate you” which most often means, “I hate the thing you did just there” or “I am furious at being told to do that”
If a super intelligent brain surgeon who has an IQ of 160 is driving a car and breaks the highway code at some point, due to being distracted by solving some three dimensional trigonometric equation then does it make sense for the person who is at risk of injury to shout,”You idiot” ? It would be more accurate to say,”That was idiotic behaviour” but maybe more helpful to say,”Don’t get distracted from driving, concentrate, watch out, keep your mind on the task in hand”
I think it is interesting to look at the changes that the Coran has made to the Babble stories, however I hate the idea of hell that is proposed in the Coran. I think it is hateful to propose that hell is real. It makes me angry when I hear people make such proposals but then I focus on what I have read that says it is wildly unlikely that there is any afterlife let alone one of suffering. So then I can laugh at the stories of religion and pity those who are blinded by it. Their religion is only one aspect of them. I like some of the Islamic melodies & architecture etc.
If I love one aspect or point of a film it doesn’t mean I love it all equally, just as if I loathe one scene it doesn’t mean I have to reject the whole thing. However it is maybe just part of life that our first comments about something give a vague impression to what we witnessed; “loved it, great, abysmal” and only later do we fill in details once we are more focused on it.
(It can sometimes be funny to deliberately exaggerate but can also be done destructively)
It is just to easy to make distorted, over the top comments in the heat of the moment. Later we hope the other person will ignore it as nonsense. The,”I’m annoyed that you forgot to put the bin out” becomes,”You always do that. You’re hopeless” but could have been,”Please try harder” Does it matter?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo and his telescope

Sometimes religion unwittingly mocks itself. The history behind the Islamic star and crescent emblem is quite funny due to the irony. The star has been imagined as planet Venus. In 1610 Galileo was the first to use a telescope to observe planet Venus and notice that it goes through phases like our moon, from this Galileo worked out that Venus must be orbiting the sun and therefore the 140 CE Ptolemaic geocentric model was an illusion and the 1543 Copernican heliocentric model was real life.  For centuries the Islamic astronomers had been holding to the Ptolemaic model of the Earth at the centre of the solar system. How is it that the Coran failed to point them toward the idea of the Sun at the centre ?
Divine revelation failed to help. If the Coran or Babble had drawn pictures of Venus as a sphere with images of its phases then that would have been a bit of a miracle, pre telescopes. However Aristarchus of Samos proposed a heliocentric model in 200 BCE that seems to have been mostly ignored.

           Mohammad is claimed to have flown to the seven heavens on his trusty Buraq and Jesus also is said to have flown up past the clouds. Why did they not take a close look at Venus on the way past ? Perhaps they were both short sighted and needed glasses but didn’t know how to make them ? Mohimmad backed the wrong horse.

 The Islamic crescent is imagined as a phase of the moon. However they have drawn a distorted/fictional crescent which extends past the poles- with the points of the crescent reaching about 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock This has happened because they have taken a lazy way out;  using a smaller circle to draw the internal curve. Even if they had used a larger circle it would have given a closer approximation, the illuminated area needs to stop at the poles. I wonder if the astronomers and mathematicians during the Islamic golden age would have been able to draw a more accurate crescent moon using trigonometry ? Are there any ancient accurate drawings ? (The crescent on the modern flag of Singapore is closest to real life)

It is also funny that the star and crescent have close association with religions and cults more ancient than the Islam or Christianity:
 From Wikipedia:

During the 1950s to 1960s, the star and crescent symbol was re-interpreted as a symbol of Islam or the Muslim community.

It has been associated with the Moabites (14th or early 13th – 6th century BC), as the symbol or symbols appear on what are thought to be Moabite name seals. Crescents appearing together with a star or stars are a common feature of Sumerian iconography, the crescent usually being associated with the moon god Sin (Nanna to the Sumerians) and the star (often identified as Venus) with Ishtar (Inanna to the Sumerians). However, in this context, there is a third element often seen, that being the sun disk of Shamash.

The star and crescent was also the emblem of Mithradates VI Eupator. “His royal emblem, an eight rayed star and the crescent moon, represented the dynasty’s patron gods, Zeus, Stratios, or Ahuramazda, and Men Pharmacou, a Persian form of the native moon goddess.” Other scholars have suggested that the star and crescent are more directly related to the cult of the god Mithra. Ustinova associates the star and crescent motif attested in a number of finds in the Bosporan Kingdom (which date from the 5th century BC to the 1st century AD) with the cult of Mithras, and indicates the star and the crescent together constituted the emblem of Pontus and its kings, asserting that it was introduced to the Bosporus by Mithradates and his successors, where it is attested on coins, locally produced jewelry and other objects. She suggests that this emblem indicates “the possibility of an earlier association of the Pontic dynasty with the cult of mounted Mithra. Mithra in fact must have been one of the most venerated gods of the Pontic Kingdom, since its rulers bore the theomorphic name of Mithradates […] although direct evidence for this cult is rather meager.”

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Fools for Christ

1 Corinthians 1v18,"The message of the cross is foolishness"
1 Cor 1v21 The foolishness of what was preached
1 Cor 1v22  Jews demand miraculous signs
                    Greeks look for wisdom
                    Christ crucified is foolishness to the gentiles
1 Cor 1v25 The foolishness of God is wisdom (if you practice double speak)
1 Cor 4v10 We are fools for Christ
1 Cor 15v12 Some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead. If there is no resurrection of the dead then not even Christ has been raised.
Acts 23v8, Mark 12v18, Matt 22v23: The Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angels or spirits
1 Cor 15v14 If Christ has not been raised our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God"
1 Cor 15v19 If Christ has not been raised your faith is futile and you are to be pitied more than all men (especially if you have given a lot of your money to the church)
1 Cor 15v32 If the dead are not raised then as Isaiah 22v13 says, "let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die"
 (but if there is no Hades or God then there was nothing to worry about anyway)
1 Cor 16v55 quotes Isaiah 25v8 Death has been swallowed up in victory,
Hosea 13v14"Where o death is your victory, Where, O death, is your sting"

Ecclesiates 9v5 The dead know nothing, they have no further reward and even the memory of them is forgotten never again will they have any part of what happens under the sun.
Ecclesiates 3v19 Man's fate is like that of the animals, the same fate awaits them both, as one dies so does the other, all have the same breath, man has no advantage over the animals. Everything is meaningless, all go to the same place, all come from dust and to dust all return, who knows if the spirit of man goes up and if the spirit of animals goes down into the earth.
Acts 17v18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with Paul. Some of them asked,"What is this babbler trying to say?" (They asked Paul,"Have you heard the Epicurean parodox:"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" )

Friday, 31 October 2014

Stars in their eyes

Good points by Carolyn Hyppolite
Two books offering a skeptical view of the nativity tales:
"The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View",by Aaron Adair and Bob Berman 

"The Nativity: A Critical Examination",by Jonathan M.S. Pearce and David Fitzgerald

There are many possibilities offered. I was listening to October 30th 2014 edition of BBC radio 4 show "In Our Time" hosted by Melvyn Bragg, talking on the subject of nuclear fusion. At 34 minutes in Steve Cowley, Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, says,"The star of Bethlehem is thought to have been a supernova" Well how do you use a star to pin point a house ? Not possible in my opinion. It would need to be a flying saucer, maybe with Klaatu and Gort in it. Much more likely that the authors knew of the idea of associating a new star with a king so since they were making up a story about the king of the Jews they made a star for him.
   How is it that God could not arrange for Magi  who knew that the Earth was a sphere to visit Jesus ? Why didn't the Magi give Jesus a map or globe of the world which showed all the continents, this would have been really handy if God wanted his gospel message to spread to all the Earth double quick ? Could it be that nobody on Earth at that time knew the Earth was a sphere or was it just that the idea hadn't reached the Bible authors ? The Greeks suspect the Earth was a sphere but they just didn't expect there to be large undiscovered continents ?
   How is it that the angels who winged their way over the Earth didn't think to sing about the Earth being a sphere like an orange ? Could it be that sphere or orange or weren't in their vocabulary ? The Bible authors did know of the word,"apple"; Song of Solomon 2v3&v5  Proverbs 25v11.
   Why didn't God call wise men from the Americas over to worship at the stable who could have taken back stories of their discovery of Europe,Asia,Africa and baby Jesus? Because the Bible stories are mostly inventions seems the most likely answer.

To make stuff up and tell people that it is made up stories is called entertaining fiction but to make stuff up and try to pass it off as accurate accounts of real life is lying, especially if you have been told reasons to think it is fiction and don't even pass on those reasonable doubts.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Awkward moments not found in your average childrens Bible

If we want to be as caring, considerate and civilised as possible then we need to criticise and condemn behaviour that does not meet modern standards. This book shows there are plenty of examples of savage & barbaric acts in the Bible stories which should be viewed with disgust and abhorrence.
One of the best things about this book is it's list of authors who helped inspire Horus Gilgamesh. I especially recommend looking into the books and videos of:
 Seth Andrews, "The Thinking Atheist" on Youtube and his book,"Deconverted, a journey from religion to reason"
Richard Dawkins' books especially, "The Ancestor's tale" & "The God delusion"- which mention so many great books in their bibliography and index that they act like a hub for exploring skeptical free thought.
Lewis Black's book,"Me of little faith"
Richard Carrier's book,"Not the impossible faith" and many Youtube debates
Robert M. Price, also known as The Bible Geek. My favourite books of his are, "The reason driven life" & "The case against the case for Christ"
John W. Loftus,"Why I became an atheist"
Valerie Tarico,"Trusting doubt"
Jerry Coyne, "Why evolution is true"
Robert G. Ingersoll wrote many articles which were skeptical of the writings in the Bible. These are found in many books on Amazon but also the website theingersolltimes
Ken Humphries' book,"Jesus never existed" which examines the case that the gospels are mostly fiction.
TalkOrigins archive,exploring the creation/evolution controversy

I accept that life on Earth evolved by natural selection and that culture evolves. The authors of the pamphlets that make up the Bible lived cultures dominated by superstition, long before the rise of modern scientific method. They made their best guess about the origins of life and how to govern society. It should be obvious they were wildly mistaken in their thinking. Horus Gilgamesh helps the reader take a critical view of the stories. I think there are a few errors in this book though and it could have been  better.

With the Noah's ark story how is it that Noah shows no knowledge of the food crops of the Americas ? The theory of evolution and the theory of plate tectonics explains how it is that many important foods are native to the Americas but this does not fit with the story of a Noah's global flood at 2300 BCE. Reverend Ussher worked out the date of the flood by using Bible genealogy and by this method also worked out the Bible puts first life on Earth at 4004 BCE.

The Bible claims that God is able to do many supernatural miracles in the world but if so then it would mean God was at fault for not making the world a far better place. Awkward moments mentions the Genesis 38 story of Tamar and Onan which claims that God magically put Onan to death for a trivial act, well if God was able to terminate people who had done things that displeased him then why did he not switch off Hitler before the atrocities were committed ?
Interesting that Genesis 38v27 claims that Tamar became pregnant by Judah and that there were twin boys in her womb. How would anyone in those times know even that there were twins let alone that they were both boys. Would the midwife need to have thought this was the case to bother tying a scarlet thread on the wrist to tell which was born first ? Was this story just made up ? Did the storyteller imagine more than could have been known ?

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Genesis 2v7 In fact God created Eve on the eve of Adam

I just bought the "Awkward moments (not found in your average) children's Bible."
Excellent list of authors who encouraged Horus Gilgamesh to write it.
I see the first item is about the creation myth
My Rewrit goes
In the beginning the first Homo sapiens God created was Eve. God saw that she was very beautiful and fell in love with her, one thing led to another but to cut a long story short they had a fling. Nine months later Adam was born. God excused himself by saying, "Well at least it saved me from having to do surgery and from now on Adam will have to pander to women's every whim in order to make up for my sin of emission"
 This explains why all men are bastards who have delusions of grandeur thinking they are God's gift to the world when in fact they are the result of a moment of madness.
Also it means that women are damn right when they say, "For God's sake will you do some house work around here"

p.s Yes it is nonsense but maybe less so than the original ?

Let the gods do their own terminating if they are really real.

11th Commandment: The gods shalt do their own terminating by supernatural means, humans shalt not do their god's dirty work.
I prefer the modern secular rules based on English common law as they are much more moderate and reasonable.
The penalties of old scripture laws are too severe and often make mountains out of mole hills.
If there was a god then it should have given people better memories & interpersonal skills so that they were able to intellectually amuse their partner rather than boring them to tears & driving them into the arms of another, seeking a change & variety.
Why is it that when you are out and about a funny thought can occur to you but when you are at the dining table with your loved one it gets forgotten or if remembered they fail to be amused ?

I think the 2014 laws of the UK try to use the minimum penalty necessary to prohibit & deter people from breaking it.
The scriptures fail to make it clear if the penalty is the maximum possible that the judge could dish out but that most times a lesser penalty could be issued. However  these examples above fail even according to the idea of like for like. Like for like would be like if you insult God then he gets to insult you back; 
God is an ape.............................still waiting.

27. Anyone who blasphemes God by saying that he would order someone to be stoned to death for blaspheming him shall be stoned to death unless they quickly say that stoning to death is an unjust penalty for holding a different point of view and anyway is too barbaric and needlessly severe in a modern age where prisons are available but in any case people should have freedom of speech and thought.

On the other hand maybe 1000 years ago if it was a choice between spending your remaining years in a dungeon or being stoned to death then maybe it wouldn't be so clear cut which was worse. It might have been more humane to die quickly but on the other hand it rules out the possibility of a reprieve due to your name being cleared after new evidence  coming to light.

Monday, 27 October 2014


I think it is interesting to note that none of the old world religions managed to predict the existence of the Americas, nor did the new world religions predict the existence of the old world. Our diets now are so much more diverse than they were before the 16th century Columbian Exchange. What would life have been like for Europeans for most of recorded history until 1492 without all the food crops which were native to the Americas, such as pumpkin, peanuts, chocolate, potatoes, sweet corn, popcorn, turkey, avocado, vanilla, sweet & chili peppers, pineapple, papaya, green beans etc ?
I am celebrating Helloween this year from the point of view that superstitious claims are unfounded. Chocolate and pumpkin say to me that the witch doctors/ shaman/ priests could not even predict the knowable about this world so why would anyone give credence to their claims about the unknowable ?
On my pumpkin lantern I have carved out the words " No WIFI " as that is probably more scary than a scary face. I have microwaved the seeds for 10 minutes to toast them and they are quite tasty, would be a shame to waste them.
Halloween is often associated with ghost stories where the ghost passes through solid walls. How many people ask themselves why it is that in the gospels the stone needs to be rolled away from the tomb to let Jesus out ? However John 20v19 has Jesus appear to the disciples in a room where the doors were locked. John 20v26 also has, "A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them"
Which parts of the stories are real and which are not real ? What were the ancient story tellers playing at ? Did legends build up around a kernel story ?
Why did the ancient folk heroes not really manage to fly around the world on a magic carpet or broomstick to do something useful like bringing chocolate from America to Europe or taking oranges from China to America ? Would it be because they were just camp fire stories ? Ogden Nash in his poem, " And how keen was the vision of sir Launfal? " pens: "Man's earliest pastime, I suppose, was to play with his fingers and his toes. Then later, wearying of himself, he devised the monster and the elf. Enlivening his existence drab, with Blunderbore and Puck and Mab. A modern man, in modern Maryland, I boast my private gate to fairyland, my kaleidoscope, my cornucopia, my philosopher's stone, myopia.....I can wish on either of two new moons, billboards are graven with mystic runes....If my vision were twenty-twenty. I should miss miracles aplenty"

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Angels from the realms of fiction

I wonder if there are only a very few phrases that angels are capable of saying ? Maybe they can only say, "Praise God", "Hallelujah". Angels don't have much to say for themselves in the Bible and certainly don't do much. Could this be why Jesus had so little trust in their ability to protect people from harm ? Look at Luke 22v36 where Jesus tells his disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword. Why did he not expect his guardian angel to protect him ? How is it that in Genesis 22v12 that the angel was able to say, "Stop don't harm Isaac" and yet there was no angel to tell Simon Peter not to use his sword in Luke 22v29 ? In fact Jesus' followers even ask if they should strike, yet Jesus does not quickly say,"NO!". At least he heals the servant's ear. Again in Luke 4v9 Jesus does not trust the angels to carry him safely to the ground. Maybe he was like, "Get real. When was the last time you saw an angel save someone from injury ? If I jumped I would hit the ground hard and die because angels are just fiction, a literary device."


Maybe, "The bad Jesus", could also be titled in a parody of Romans 3v23, "How Jesus falls short of the glory of God" or 
" Instances of where the behaviour of Jesus falls short of what you would expect of a loving, caring, honest, smart, all powerful son of a God/ divine being"
I read "Fighting words" by Hector Avalos and was mighty impressed, one of the best. 
The contents of, "The Bad Jesus" looks promising too.
I've started on, "The End of Biblical studies". I see in his conclusion his favoured option is
3. Retain biblical studies, but redefine its purpose so that it is tasked with eliminating completely the influence of the Bible in the modem world
(Kindle Locations 4398-4399).
Would that mean, "eliminating the harmful aspect of the Bible"?
If people used wikipedia to look up each different word in the Bible then they could very quickly get a wide picture of the history of religion.
I think one of the biggest problems is with ministers keeping the congregations in the dark about all that is known. A few weeks reading through the books of Hector Avalos, John W. Loftus, Robert M. Price etc would save decades of fretting and let the reader laugh at religion & also more fully see the funny side of films like, "Life of Brian" and other skeptical satire.
I see "The bad Jesus " has a section on Jesus using a whip to drive money changers from the temple. John 2v18 has the Jews demand a miracle to prove his authority. How is it that the Son of God didn't manage to use supernatural abilities like a modern day comic hero. Looks a bit mundane to use a whip when even Elisha is said to have been able to pray and have the Arameans struck blind in 2 Kings 6v18.
Why didn't Jesus say, "Remember Zechariah was struck dumb when he doubted the angel's message in the Temple (Luke 1v20) so you too will all be struck dumb until you leave these courts"
Why did Jesus not have a sort of hypnotic stare to make those around him accept and believe all that he said ? Why didn't a host of angels appear to make the money changers sore afraid like the shepherds in Luke 2v9. Why didn't he just lift all the folk with superpowers without having to physically touch them? Cause it was just fiction and the Bible authors didn't have the more developed imagination of modern novelists ?
Why didn't Jesus give a cure for leprosy like what modern medicine has shown possible instead of allegedly just doing a few isolated magic tricks.
Why didn't Jesus hang around after his claimed resurrection ? By using the abilities that the O.T. claims God had then it should have been easy for Jesus to journey around the world and make sure everyone in the world had heard the message within a few years.

Monday, 20 October 2014

What are the angels guarding ?

Luke 4v10 has the devil quote Psalm 91v11, "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways" What if Jesus had replied in Luke 4v12, " Are you kidding? When was the last time you saw angels protect anyone ? They are only able to sing praises to me & my Dad. That verse in Psalm 91v11 was just poetic, feel good metaphor, a talisman to trust in ." 
Would the devil then reply, " Hey if it wasn't for the angels preventing so much of disaster I attempt to cause then the world would be a far more hellish experience"?

Look at Luke 22v36 which has Jesus tell his disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword. Jesus again doesn't have much faith in angels to achieve any practical protection. What use are guardian angels if they can't guard ? What would the Son of God have needed with a sword ? Shouldn't he have been able to blind any attackers by prayer or spell as Elisha did to the Arameans in 2 Kings 6v18 ?

Luke 4v3 Turning stones into bread would eliminate malnutrition in the world. It would have been a caring thing to do. Actually growing wheat does turn minerals & nutrients into grain / food.

Luke 4v5 has the devil show Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. How is it then that Jesus is not recorded as telling anyone of the Americas or Australia. As a result it was another 15 hundred years until Europeans started taking the gospel to the native American indians and nearly 18 hundred years until the Australian aborigines started to hear the stories. Jesus appears to have been in no hurry for everyone in the world to hear his message.Jesus said his disciples would do greater things, this makes me think they should have had his abilities to calm storms and sail their fishing boat to the Americas in the first century. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Maximize well being and minimize suffering, ban FGM

The world needs to follow Sweden's example and forbid FGM. I hope the UN will rule that FGM is harmful to quality of life and is a barbaric practice that should be eradicated.

I think people should take the attitude, " I don't care what the old scriptures say. We can make rulings from first principles based on the desire to maximize well being and minimize suffering, like Sam Harris talks about"

The great thing about English common law is that it is based on precedent and can evolve. People need to focus on what current laws like English common law say, and play according to them. The scripture laws are out of date and irrelevant.

If Islam had any worth is would have ruled against FGM but it is stuck with an idea that the text is unchangeable.
Even the Bible has verses against circumcision. Galations chpt 5 is vaguely against circumcision, Gal 5v6, "For in Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love"
Ephesians 5v28, "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. After all no one ever hated his body, but he feeds and cares for it"
   Galations 5v13-24 is a get out clause from O.T. laws & regulations because it introduces ambiguity about whether the christian is free from O.T. laws or not. It sort of says to be guided by the consideration of whether the action is helpful to others or whether it is harmful, whether it is loving your neighbour as yourself or not.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Genesis 2v20; Adam & Eveolution

ReWrit Genesis 2v20

And it came to pass that one day Adam wondered if it would be possible to have a cross between a human and other primates and so he did have romantic relations with some of the other species of great apes. Well when God happened to be walking by
God said to Adam, " What on Earth are you doing?".
Adam replied, " I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if I could have a human cross ape child, but I have been trying for years now and so far there has been no offspring"
 God said unto Adam, " Speciation old chap, speciation. You see there has been too much evolutionary divergence between the species of which you are an example and the species you have been having monkey business with. So although you share a distant ancestor with these females it will not be possible for you to have a cross breed child by them. Your sperm will not be able to fertilize the egg within them. Basically give it up. In any case don't you realize that there are females of your own species, why don't you take one of them as your wife?"
Adam said, " Well they don't look much different from these apes"
God replied, " Here, i think you need to wear this pair of glasses"
Adam tried them on and said, "Wow, I was blind but now I see"

On the origins of Santa

Children in Europe never got chocolate treats for Christmas before the voyage of Christopher Columbus to Americas because cocoa is native to the Americas. From this observation we can deduct several interesting pieces of knowledge. It appears that the operations of Arctic Santa were restricted to Europe and Asia from the fact that he was not able to give his customers any foods which originated in the New World. Given that the children in the New World did receive food treats native to the Americas is appears fairly safe to conclude that there was another Santa delivering there. Although I so far have no conclusive evidence to support it,  I strongly suspect that this Santa had his HQ in Antarctica. It would appear that Arctic Santa and Antartic Santa were bitterly opposed to each other and were very territorial, absolutely forbidding each other from even using the other's air space let alone landing on their patch. It looks like they kept their presents catalogue  top secret from each other. I suspect that they each demonized their competitor by called the other "black". Having thoroughly reviewed all the books written by Elves, dwarfs and gnomes that I could find I have discovered that their legend has it that Arctic Santa was all white prior to 1492 and there are oral histories which suggest the American Santa was all red. So I guess that what the Antarctic Santa meant when she accused the Arctic Santa of being all "white" was that he was, in our modern day parlance "black" and when the Arctic Santa accused the American Santa of being all "red" that he too meant "black". At any rate it is a great pity that there weren't  international  trade exhibitions in those early days otherwise Antarctic and Arctic Santas might have met and discovered that they weren't so different from each other after all, in fact they probably shared more similarities than differences. Then they might have exchanged present information and indeed traded their wares. This would have enriched the life of their children a lot sooner than having to wait for Christopher Columbus to break the ice. However it appears that after 1492 something happened that broke the deadlock. Maybe it was the Europeans discovering that there were lots of tasty treats to eat over the Americas and consequently they started writing wish lists to Arctic Santa. A similar thing happened in the Americas. So my guess is that the Arctic Santa arranged to meet the Antarctic Santa on Greenland and having shared a few sherries and carrots with each other one thing probably led to another and before long Arctic Santa found that Antarctic Santa was in fact the opposite sex and quite nice actually. Well to cut a long story short I think what happened was that after a few years there was the patter of several little red and white Santas running around. Santas age much more slowly than regular humans and so these offspring of the original American Red Santa and the Arctic white Santa are now delivering our presents each Christmas.
     I admit that some of this is indeed conjecture and will need to be proven by scientific blood sampling of our extant Santas to see if they share the same DNA as the first Mr & Mrs Santa.
   I guess I might hear you cry what about the African & Australian children, where was their Santa? Well obviously the simple explanation there is that they don't get a proper winter so they can hardly expect to get the presents for having endured it, also their houses have a shortage of chimney's for Santa to slide down.