Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Gore, who actually would have won the 2000 US presidential election were it not for his conceding prematurely to Dubaya after the “spoiled ballots” fiasco in Jed Bush’s home state, earlier won an Academy Award for his film An Inconvenient Truth.

Needless to say, American political conservatives have been critical of the film, of the choice of Gore as recipient of the Nobel Prize, and of the abundant inconvenient-to-greed scientific data concerning the undeniable fact of global warming. The inconvenient truth, which dismays liberals as much as conservatives, is that we cannot with impunity continue to abuse the environment.

Liberals, meanwhile, have responded with declarations that Gore should announce his presidential candidacy or that he is proving to be a beneficial influence and should continue on his current course.

The difference, of course, between liberals and conservatives has been the willingness of liberals to accept the unpleasant news and to express concern for the environment. Conservatives, undoubtedly motivated largely by the big business lobby, have denied the facts and ridiculed any who warn of the unwelcome news that we must curb fossil fuel emissions. Those conservatives who have finally acknowledged that the planet is indeed warming, include many who continue to deny the anthropogenic component of this trend.

. Take Action .

. Watch the Trailer .

. The Science Behind the Warnings .

MSNBC: Warming Signals . Ice at the Edge Interactives : Carbon trade game . The greenhouse effect . Cooling the planet . Eyeing the ice . Capturing CO2 . Melting mountains . Melting mountains .

British Royal Society: comment on Nobel Peace Prize . Climate change controversies: a simple guide .


The Nature Conservancy

The Conservation Fund

The Sierra Club

National Wildlife Federation

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The Age of American Unreason

I could not resist the title! That’s one of the items on the ‘menu’ at the upcoming 2007 Conference of the Center for Inquiry. The conference in New York City will take place Nov 9-11 at the New York Academy of Sciences.

 Themes will include:

  • The Age of American Unreason
  • The Next Islamic Enlightenment
  • Science and the Public
  • Student Freethinkers Speak Out
  • Secularism through History: from Spinoza to JFK

“The world is finally waking up to the dangers of religious faith.  Books defending reason and religious skepticism top the bestseller lists. Secular Muslims are standing up for freedom of thought.  The secular perspective has finally gained currency in the media and in cross-cultural dialogue.  Young freethinkers and secularists are organizing and speaking out on campuses, ready to carry the torch of secularism into the new millennium.”

 Be a part of this historic event. Register today!It sounds interesting.

Regress pressures Rowan

Ultimatum on Anglican church gays

“Conservative Christians will throw down the gauntlet to the Archbishop of Canterbury this week by demanding that he openly disowns the American church over gay bishops.”

I did not post this because I care whether or not the Church of England splits from the American Anglican Church. I noticed this because ultraconservative Wycliffe College at the University of Oxford has recently run afoul of university authorities. However, the entire petulant fiasco is much what one can expect from religionists who threaten boycotts and schisms when their bigotted, narrow, absolutist, hatreds are not honored. My advise: to Anglicans, gain rationality and embrace humanist tolerance; to Church officials, grow up, gain rationality, and embrace humanist tolerance.

At the time of the original furor over New Hampshire’s gay bishop, Gene Robinson, I saw him interviewed on television and was impressed by his genuine ‘goodness’.  This suitability by virtue of personal qualities should be the determinant of election to a post, and it really should not matter what life partner he has chosen.

Apparently, the bigoted fundamentalists of the CofE’s ‘Reform’ group are delivering the ultimatum because the ‘Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has said that homosexuality is not a “disease” on the eve of a crucial decision that could split the Anglican Church worldwide.’

One definition of reform is this: ‘make changes for improvement in order to remove abuse and injustices’. [source] Typically, fundamentalist reformers are not interested in moving forward to remove abuse and injustices, but instead wish to return to archaic abuse and injustices.

The bigotted CofE group would have been more honest if they had called themselves ‘Regress’.  I can only hope that Rowan Williams will stand up to their pressure.

C of E faces boycott over gay priests row

8 October 2007: Church of England gay clergy row intensifies

4 October 2007: Church leaders on the brink of schism

26 September 2007: For now, US Anglicans give in to Archbishop

25 September 2007: Anglican Church could split by end of year

23 September 2007: Homosexuality not a ‘disease’, says Archbishop

23 September 2007: Archbishop prays for miracle in gay rights row

16 September 2007: Archbishop fears split over gay clergy


Blog Action Day on the Environment, Oct 15

 The typical secular humanist is concerned about human and other life on the planet, which naturally includes concern for the environment. We humans have made a mess of our precious home and the following blog action day is intended to drive home realities about the environment. 

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

Blog Action Day is about MASS participation. That means we need you! Here are 3 ways to participate:

MORE 11th Hour Action & Links 

Felling the Tree of Knowledge

Creationists are playing dirty . . . again.

No news in that, I guess. The latest creationist ploy was to run to YouTube demanding removal of videos posted by the Rational Response Squad that criticized the Creation Science Evangelism ministry*. (Not that there is really anything scientific about Christianity, but most fundamentalist creationists are too cognitively challenged to know that. Still, the site is hilarious in a Monty Python Parodies God modeif you enjoy the antics of the terminally deluded, that is.)

WIRED magazine reports that under pressure from Hovind’s Hounds, YouTube not only pulled the critical videos, but suspended the Rational Response Squad’s account.  Kent Hovind, the founder of the Creation Science Evangelism who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for tax evasion, had encouraged use of the content on the ministry’s web site.

The RRS wrote an open letter citing fair use under the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was passed in 1998. The videos were eventually reposted, so they should be getting lots of traffic thanks to the publicity generated by the ‘Christian Anti-science Fundamentalist’ ministry. The Rational Response Squad’s account has also been reinstated.

Needless to say, the CSE website will now be using YouTube to air its own videos for its deluded followers :

“Exciting things are happening here at CSE as we further the creation message! We now have YouTube and GodTube accounts. There you can view our promos and other recommended resources. These will help equip you in introducing the world to Christ our Creator. Subscribe to us and be notified of new videos. We’ve also released a new promo . . .”

Kinda makes you wonder why God Himself didn’t get a YouTube account to post videos in support of his revelataions. Better yet, why doesn’t God perform a miracle and upload video footage of miracles from His archives?  After all, an Omnipotent Omniscient Being should find uploading archival videos, or better yet, footage of new miracles a synch.

Oh, I know why CSE has to go to all this troublethere really is no God, just deluded Earthlings.

 * why a link to googling rather than the site.

Creationist vs. Atheist YouTube War Marks New Breed of Copyright Claim .

Narrow Fundamentalist Colleges Judged Unsuitable

When searching for a blog topic, it’s always fruitful to drop in on a known b*g*t. I have no plans to comment there since the b*g*t merely entrenches, yet I did find some fodder. Continue reading

Underactive ACC and Conservativism

I found this on Neurophilosophy, which is a very good blog:

“Research suggests that liberals and conservatives have different personality traits and “cognitive styles”: while liberals are more intellectually curious and tolerant of ambiguity, conservatives have a greater desire to reach decisions quickly and are more consistent in the way they make those decisions.

It was found that those who considered themselves to be conservatives made more response errors when upon presentatin of the infrequent letters than those who considered themselves as liberals (respectively, 47% and 37% of the time).  

The EEG data showed that, during the trials in which the infrequent letter was presented, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was twice as active in liberals than in conservatives.

The ACC is one of the brain’s executive control centres, and is hypothesized to be involved in detecting and signalling conflicts in information processing. So liberals showed significantly more conflict-related brain activity when confronted with a situation in which they are required to break an old habit.”

 Neuroscience and neuropsychology research is often criticized as not being science.  Such criticism is ironic considering that it often originates in the sorts of reflexive anti-science polemic that attacks science while praising the “proofs” demonstrated by “creation science”.

Research into the neurosciences is confounded by a combination of ethical and technical limitations. Although these factors render the neurosciences more challenging for scientific inquiry than chemistry, for instance, they do not signify that neurosciences are not scientific. Imagine that you are in an electronics store in which banks of loudspeakers are simultaneously playing different outputs from banks of CD players.  Now try to identify which output belongs to which player. It is not that there is not an “explanation” for each output, it is merely that this is difficult to decipher against background activity.

I found the ACC-Conservatism study interesting because it provides a neural correlation with a behavioral pattern that I have observed repeatedly.  I have long maintained that there is cognitive processing deficiency that underlies a commonly observed cluster of personality traits. 

Elsewhere: Red Brain, Blue Brain: Politics and Gray Matter : Persistence of Untruths and Flexibility