Friday, February 11, 2011

Free Will(y)

Thank goodness for Mr. Deity!  I've now found the perfect response to show the next baptist or evangelical that explains to me that the reason an omniscient and omnipotent god can allow evil is because of free will.  What a terrible reason!  In other words, a god would be choosing evil and suffering so we can have free will?  Doesn't sound like a trade off that a merciful and compassionate god who wants us to be with him/her one day would do.  Let's see how Mr. Deity gets through this:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finally a Good Trade-off for Allergies

There's a cool new study out showing an inverse correlation between the intensity of your allergies and the susceptibility of getting gliomas, a common type of brain and spinal cancer.  Although it's just a correlation, the study supports other data suggesting that the more allergies you have the less likely you are to get certain types of cancer.  It's still uncertain as to why this might be the case, but one likely hypothesis is that allergies indicate an overactive immune system.  Cancers result only when your body fails to kill the rogue cells before they get out of control - if people with allergies have overactive immune systems, perhaps their bodies just make it naturally harder for cancer cells to escape and survive immune stimulation.  Perhaps further research will confirm or refute this hypothesis, and inform us of more handy tools we could make to block cancer formation.

Until then, take a look at this MRI image of a glioma taken from the Mayfield Clinic website:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hymns for Science

I myself (an ardent scientist and atheist) am unashamed to admit that I'm a huge fan of sacred music - especially pieces by Mozart and Rachmaninoff.  Unfortunately, as it's been discussed before in the science and atheism blogosphere, there are no good science or atheism hymns like religious folk have.  Although Steve Martin has actually performed a song about how "atheists don't have no songs", there really isn't anything all that enjoyable (or singable) that actually resembles something like a hymn you would find at your local church for science/godless enthusiasts like me.

Until now.

I give you, Evolution Made Us All, by Ben Hillman:

Evolution Made Us All from Ben Hillman on Vimeo.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thou Shalt Kill?

Many Christians, especially evangelicals, believe that evil things happen in the world because of Satan, not because of God.  This is a typical response to the question "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?"  The other popular response is "You can't know God's plan", implying that even though you *think* whatever happened was bad/evil, in the bigger scheme of things it was probably good (because God did it).  Of course, the implication is that God is the source of all things good, and Satan is the source of all things evil - it's a bit of a tautology, and it's very frustrating to hear these excuses in conversation because it seems that the individuals are just imagining beings into existence (Satan) or claiming your ignorance to account for phenomena that they don't want associated with their God (but should be associated because they demand an all-knowing, all-powerful god).

Well here's something else Christians may have trouble explaining - a simple graph depicting the number of murders that occur in the Bible committed by either God or Satan:

According to the source here (the Bible), God killed 2,391,421 people, but Satan only killed 10.  Note that the Y-axis is logarithmic - this indicates a level of killing by God that is FIVE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE ABOVE what Satan did.  In other words, God killed people 239,142.1 times MORE than Satan did.  I thought that the commandment was "Thou Shalt Not Kill"?  I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions.

Information originally shared from a StumbleUpon post.
UPDATE: For clarification, the SumbleUpon post was referred to me by the noble Greg Barnes, otherwise known as Greggles.