Followup of the evening: PZ Myers responds to being named “Idiot of the Week”

PZ Myers in London.
Image via Wikipedia

Last week, I posted that vjack at Atheist Revolution called PZ Myers the “Idiot of the Week.” I wanted to followup with Myers’ response titled: “You don’t really want to be like Ray Comfort, do you?

You can read the whole thing here.

Here’s an excerpt:

I’m not redefining atheism, nor am I declaring the dictionary wrong: I’m saying it is insufficient. Also, no one is a Dictionary Atheist, and the folly lies in pretending that you are one.

I do not have the power to redefine the word, and I’m also smart enough to know it. I only wish those readers had been smart enough to realize that, too. My article was not a top-down commandment (it’s peculiar and revealing that so many thought it was), but was instead a bottom-up recognition of an obvious fact.

Everyone who is an atheist is so because of other, prior ideas. I’m not saying that there is one set of ideas that make for a True Atheist™, but rather that if you claim there are not, if you pose as someone who is an atheist simply because you don’t believe in gods, you are failing to consider your own philosophical foundations. Calling yourself a Dictionary Atheist is like taking pride in living an unexamined life.

I love a good cat fight. I hope this one plays out in a rubber-matted wrestling ring or maybe in a kiddie pool filled with Jello.

Can’t you see PZ Myers in a rainbow-striped thong bikini?


What’s awesome when you peel off the lumps of jello landing on your face, is that you notice how splintered the atheist group is. It’s like that other group … what are they called?

What was that you said?

The Muslims?

No, no, not them.

The Jews?

No, not them either. I can’t quite remember … Oh yeah …

The Zoroastrians!

No, I mean, the Egyptians!

That’s not right. I mean, the Greeks!

No, wait, I mean, the Romans. Yes, the Romans!

That’s not right either. How about …

I meant, the Christians! Yep, the Christians!


P.S. Hey, vjack, having a respected blog and going by an alias goes against the cause. Come out of the closet, yo.

Siegel: Can you get something for nothing?

Over at Starts with a Bang, one of my favorite science bloggers Ethan Siegel posted a great article that PZ Myers picked up last week. I kept thinking I already reposted it here, but a quick search seems to show me that I didn’t.

So here’s the link for a great explanation from a ginormous-brained theoretical astrophysicist how science shows that something came from nothing.

And by something, I mean the universe, and by nothing, I mean the space between your ears.

Here’s a little excerpt to whet your whistle:

For example, take a box and empty it, so that all you’ve got is some totally empty space, like above. An ideal, perfect, empty vacuum. Now, what’s in that box?


Did you guess nothing? Well, it turns out that empty space isn’t so empty.

One of the consequences of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle — that you can’t know a quantum state’s energy exactly for a finite duration of time — means that when you’re talking about very short time intervals, there are large uncertainties in the energy of a system. Over short enough timescales, the energies are large enough that particle-antiparticle pairs wink in-and-out of existence all the time!



My city is on fire!

I have been out with Tina, her brother and her brother’s partner doing our usual Sunday fare. I don’t watch no Super Bowl for nobody.

But, and this is a big but(t), I love the commercials. A lot of them you can catch at The Daily I have to repost the trailer for the next Transformers movie, which makes me all tingly on my inside places.


On the topic of hell

Our lovely “believer” friend/fan of Le Café Julie Ferwerda siren songed me into this update about hell, dammit. I’m anxiously awaiting how this one turns out. Here’s a screen cap of everything up until my response.


3:02 p.m. – the conversation has continued past my response. Julie backed me up with a nicely written, “I agree with Jeremy” stance. Other people express their worry or concern for Julie’s station in life. And there are others who support Julie. I’ll let it get a little longer and post a little of it here.

I responded again, but — and I wrote “I’m easy to ignore” in my response — I’m being ignored by the others on the thread. I don’t mind. Being led astray by anyone including atheists can get you thrown into the sea with a cinder block tied around your neck (Mark 9:42).

But god’s not violent! He just likes to kill those who don’t agree with him.


3:11 p.m. – Fuck it. Now they’re talking about the flood being literally true. I don’t think there’s a point to this conversation.

Thanks, Julie!

Must watch: Megafan-produced Star Wars documentary

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, or you know someone who is, pass along the information for watching this fan-made documentary. It will blow you (0r them) away.

I found this at The Daily who compiled all the links for the rest of them:

Superfan Jambe Davdar has spent an awe-inspiring amount of time piecing together three absolutely must-watch Star Wars fan documentaries — essentially, the original trilogy re-cut with alternate takes, deleted scenes, concept art, original audio, production footnotes, and commentary from the cast and crew.

Star Wars Begins: 1234567891011121314.

Building Empire: 12345678910111213141516,1718192021222324.

Returning to Jedi: 123456789101112131415,1617181920212223.

Get comfortable: You’re about to spend a lot of time watching something really special.