Airport body scanners violate Islamic law?

The Fiqh Council of North America (an association of Muslims who interpret Islamic law on the North American continent) issued a ruling (fatwa) earlier this week that says Muslims shouldn’t go through full body scanners since this violate Islamic rules on modesty. Nihad Awad heads the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and their purpose is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties and to promote justice and mutual understanding.

Imagine this: I masterminded Loftus’ loss by influencing college students, in other news, pigs flew today.

Debunking Christianity’s John Loftus questioned my review of the debate over at his blog. Apparently I didn’t give any substance to my review, and therefore it wasn’t accurate. My mental rationality has been called into question.

Also, I masterminded the effort to sway the poor college idiots into thinking he lost the debate. If I were one of those students, I would be insulted (did you hear me students, cue your insult face).

Perhaps I should clari-fucking-fy what I meant in my review, because now Loftus has goaded me, and this shall not go well for I sit behind the fortress that is my computer desk, and I can say many brave things from here … as apparently he has a strong fortress of a desk to sit behind too. You don’t goad a Puerto Rican and expect not to get stung.

He told me at the meet and greet Monday night that he joked with me back on this post in which I said,

I took the “Debunking Christianity Challenge” and I won! Well, I took it before it was John Loftus’ challenge.

Notice I said, “I took it before it was …” In other words, if you stick the two words together, “Debunking” and “Christianity”, I took the challenge and won.

Loftus doesn’t have registered trademark on the words “debunking christianity”. Before it was the John Loftus challenge, required reading for the debunking christianity challenge would have been any book of my choice. In fact, I debunked christianity over 8 years ago which certainly predates his challenge by … many moons.

He also said I called him a jerk. I think he might be referring to this post, in which I jokingly said that he called me a jerk under his breath. It was an imaginary event that NEVER happened. I was making a joke to his joke. I wasn’t taking his words seriously. I was thrilled to have him surfing around on my pathetic excuse for a blog.

I don’t need to be obsequious to the guy. I really liked meeting him, and I said I wished I had more of a chance to talk to him at the meet and greet at this post, but his voice was shot and he was trying to save it for Tuesday night.

I had high hopes going into the debate. I’ve been a lurker on his blog for over a year. When I saw that the debate was set, I decided to go. I rented a car, got a hotel room, invested my time to go and got stuck with surcharges because of the weather and having to get a second night stay and a third rental day on the car just to see the debate. Financially, I lost on this experience.

To clarify about what I meant in terms of his cold, I couldn’t understand him at times. At others, his cold was effecting my ability to follow his train of thought. Other times, he mumbled, and the message was lost all together. I was trying to be nice and say, “Hey, your cold got in the way of your message.” He could have explained the secrets of the universe, but between the mumbles and the cold, I wasn’t hearing him. What I did hear I didn’t think was strong. It definitely wasn’t strong enough to remember. For instance he made a point to say that Christians are brainwashed. Instead of taking that to the next level, he ended up repeating it. Once would have been sufficient, but two or three times, not so effective.

His words came off muffled, and if you want to know what I’m talking about, here’s an example. Surprise! I have some video. Notice Loftus doesn’t get a laugh on his laugh line. I love that Jim Carrey reference, but I didn’t even smirk when he made it.

He also called out the possibility that I spoiled the well for the rest of the student skeptics at the bar after the debate. What he doesn’t know was that the college-age students who I was sitting with during the debate were all writing notes back and forth hoping to get to the pub earlier than later. After the debate, they were grumbling about the debate and wanted to avoid the book signing in lieu of a drink or two.

At the pub, I spent 15 minutes on the phone with my wife and about 30 minutes talking to a non-student skeptic named Wesley, where he and I discussed the necessity of improving atheist PR, among a myriad of other topics, including why we atheists thought we were poorly served at the debate that night.

I’m not in the business of influencing students. They had their own opinions about the night, and they weren’t impressed. If they don’t speak up, I guess it’s my word against Loftus’.

Let me know what you think about the clips I linked to. Let me know if you disagree with my interpretation of D’Souza’s debate.

Let me know if any of you have a pulse.

Evolution, the Grand Experiment Chapter 5: Similarities: A Basic Proof of Evolution?

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Chapter five is a “basic proof of evolution .

On the cover of the chapter, there are two photos. One is a shark, the other a dolphin. The captions read, “A fish with fins,” the other “a mammal with fins.”

Dr. Carl Werner writes a header for the top of the next page that says (most certainly in a sardonic tone): “Many Scientists Believe That Similarities in Animals Are Evidence for the Theory of Evolution.”

This is the best chapter so far. This is the chapter where I get to say, “See, Dr. Werner doesn’t understand science, and he damn well shouldn’t be writing about it.”

He says, “Evolution teaches the following: The universe was formed 10 to 20 billion years ago as a result of the big bang explosion in space. Ultimately, as an indirect consequence of this explosion, life began in the ocean in the form of a single-cell organism about 4 billion years ago.”

Evolution DOES NOT teach that the big bang happened. Astronomy teaches that the big bang happened. Evolution pertains to the origins of life on the planet Earth. Evolution is biological. Astronomy is cosmological. Had he demonstrated that he knew the difference, maybe we could take Werner seriously.

What’s great about this chapter’s first page is, if you remove some of the vagaries or quotation marks with sarcastic implication, it might not be that bad.

Continue reading “Evolution, the Grand Experiment Chapter 5: Similarities: A Basic Proof of Evolution?”

I have work to do. I know, I’ll distract you with Ingersoll

In 1894  Robert Ingersoll wrote “About The Holy Bible” and in the sections of that work below he discusses the two foundational beliefs of Christianity.

Bon appétit:


Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Lao-tsze, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death — a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race?

Continue reading “I have work to do. I know, I’ll distract you with Ingersoll”