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Category Archives: Richard Dawkins


Well it’s about that time again Carlos fans. The Skeptics of Carlos blog carnival has rolled into town once more for your skeptical entertainment.

Oh, by the way, recently I have been trying to analyze topics and issues from a “true-believer” start point. This is mainly because the other day a Mormon tried to convert me with his “techniques that he could try out on me” (or so his colleague whispered to him before they approached me). So I will be writing this carnival post from the view point of a true believer. *clears throat* Heh hem.

Have you ever gone to the doctors when you’re sick? I haven’t, prayer is all I need, but if I were to I wouldn’t be taking any advice from a doctor such as Karen Stollznow over at the skepbitch! She doesn’t even condone the use of popular “alternate” medicines such as homeopathy and chiropractic! Every time I get a cold I take homeopathic tablets and I’m better in 2-3 weeks, see it works! She must be nuts…and to talk to her mother that way? She must be an atheist. Oh and be very wary of the evil lesbian/sexually confused ghost, Klara that haunts Dr. Stollznow. We should probably perform an exorcism on that evil haunted house, she doesn’t believe it is haunted but I know it is! Armidale sounds like a dreadful place.

Next up is Naontiotami from Homologous Legs. He shows his obvious evil atheism and devil worship as he tries to pull the wool over our eyes about creationism in his article, Institute for Creation Research: Evolution: Real Science or Nonsense? Doesn’t he know that it is fact? And where does he get off slandering the good natured Christians at the ICR, they put a good twenty minutes into their research and he could at least give it the time of day and take it seriously.

Oh and there appears to be a new non-believer/infidel podcast doing the rounds. Gary Curtis and Tim van Gelder have decided to burden us with more sin as they delve into critical thought and logical fallacies. Again the foul atheists bow and scrape to their God of science and critical analysis. If you want to learn about debating why not find some of Kent Hovind’s debates, those are real eye openers plus I am pretty confident…No I am convinced that he would wipe the floor with these non-believers! Humbug indeed.

Andy (Dawkin’s and Randi’s lap dog) over at Thinking Is Real seems to think that us believers need saving. Well I have some “good news” for him, he is the one that needs to be saved. He seems to think we have a reason for why we are skeptical of something, but he is wrong, some things just make sense! For example, we are skeptical of evolution because it goes against Gods word right? Look around you! God made all of it, it’s so obvious! Where was I? Oh yeh, anyway, Andy is fighting for what he believes in (or is it what he doesn’t believe in? I can never tell with these atheists) so at least I can give him a small amount of credit.

Hm, the Podblack Cat? Is that even a real name? I don’t think so. And her tardiness would seem to indicate that she has not been touched by the Lord as she doesn’t care about other peoples time or feelings (:P)! But moving on from that. In her latest post she has written a short run down on skeptical films for people to watch and enjoy. I almost liked this article until she showed her obvious racist tendencies when she referred to the film Magicians, calling it a “black comedy”. Those damn non-believers always have to have a stab at someone!

Well, thanks so much for tuning in for another Skeptics of Carlos. Oh and if you are interested in a complete and utter heathen who is trying to indoctrinate the youth of Australia, you should read more of Skelliot’s blog. You can even submit your own articles to the web site he is building, The Young Australian Skeptics, which will be going live soon!

Cloning is cool

Most people in Australia would know of the Thylacinus cynocephalus, more commonly known as the Thylacine or the Tasmanian Tiger. For those of you that don’t know what the creature is let me give you a quick run down.tazzy tiger

The Tasmanian Tiger is not a tiger at all, and despite its looks it isn’t a canine either. It was a marsupial predator that roamed Australia, and more recently, the small state in Australia, Tasmania. It bears a striking resemblance to a common dog and is defined by its tiger like stripes on its back towards its hind legs that continue down its long tail.

The last Tazzy Tiger died in 1936 in captivity.

Well, the ol’ taz tiger may be set to walk the forests of Australia once again with new advancements in cloning technology. Dr Andrew Pask and Professor Marilyn Renfree from the University of Melbourne have managed to insert a Thylacine gene into a mouse embryo. The gene used was the proα1(II) collagen (Col2a1) gene which controls the growth of bone and cartilage. The embryo continued to grow with the gene in place so that is definately good news for extinct species.Embryo

However, this doesn’t mean that the whole creature can be resurrected and there is still a lot more work to be done before that can be achieved. Even though it may never happen, damn its fun to think about. Dinosaur cloning is probably out of the question but if the technology is developed then you can be sure it will be possible to see Mammoths and other extinct mammals in reserves and parks (à la Jurassic Park). That would kick ass!

Check out these links.

The Research Article http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002240

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine

http://www.dailytech.com/Jurassic+Park+in+The+Real+World+Scientists+Partially+Clone+Extinct+Mammal/article11839.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/05/20/2249769.htm?site=science&topic=latest

Welcome to the world of tomorrow! Blogs are old news, the age of the podcast has begun and in honor of the dawning of this new age I thought I would do a skeptical podcast run down of the casts that I currently (or have in the past) listen too!

Geologic Podcast
http://www.geologicpodcast.com/

Do you want to laugh? Well, if you do, then listen to George Hrab on his podcast. The show consists of sketches, his mother rapping, religious morons and many of his absolutely side splitting characters (all played by him). He even has cameos by famous pod caster Soccer Girl! (A podcast I have not yet listened to by the way.) I am not kidding when I say Mr Hrab is funny, all I can say is go check it out for yourself and then send me (or George, preferably me) money for finding it for you. It is recommended that you listen to episode 31.1 if you want to catch up and get in on the “in” jokes.

Skeptics Guide to the Universe
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

No self respecting skeptic skips this weekly podcast. Hosted by Steven Novella, an academic neurologist and full time skeptic, and the skeptical rogues, Robert Novella, Jay Novella, Rebecca Watson (the Skepchick) and Evan Bernstein. The SGU is a must listen for any skeptic, or non-skeptic for that mater, in their weekly rounds of the podcast scene. In the show they discuss current topics in the news and skeptical community as well as devastating break downs of pseudo-science and woo. Their regular interviews are truly entertaining. The Amazing Guru of skepticism James Randi also has a regular section called Randi Speaks where he attacks certain issues head on. If you love knowledge, and who doesn’t, tune into the SGU and join its already huge (35,000 last time I heard?) listener base!

Skepticality
http://www.skepticality.com/index.php

Again, a must listen for any self respecting skeptic. Join Derek and Swoopy as they delve into a specific issue each week. Generally their show consists of an interview with a prominent personality in skepticism or science but their older shows were more like SGU in structure. My favourite recent episode was the No Intelligence Allowed! interview with Professor Richard Dawkins and Dr. Michael Shermer about the new ID movie Expelled.

Are we alone? – SETI Podcast
http://radio.seti.org/

Are we alone? Who knows! But damn it’s fun to speculate. That’s what the SETI podcast is all about… well, not really, they explore deep into different scientific issues as well as the astrobiology topics it is based on. Each podcast focus’ on one or two topics and consists of interviews and fantastic banter between the two hosts. Seth Shostak is the senior astronomer at the SETI institute.

Scientific American
http://www.sciam.com/podcast/

This is a podcast that I don’t listen to regularly, but when I do listen I enjoy it thoroughly. The podcasts are usually fairly short and consist of mainly scientific topics (duh). My recent favourite episode was their interview with Mark Mathis who they proceeded to basically rip apart. It was hilarious to listen to him back peddle when met with a difficult question.

Cj’s Skeptical World
http://tcradiolive.com/cjskeptical.php

Unfortunately CJ’s no longer makes his podcast, but what he has made so far are highly entertaining. Listen to CJ as he spews mind bending rants about Woo and science in the American and world media. He even gives this blog a fleeting mention.

I hope this quick run down has helped you to decide on what you want to listen to. With each packet of knowledge I receive I come closer to world domination, please help me in that goal by commenting and posting your favourite Podcasts.

Respect

All around the world there are hundreds of different religions. Some differ greatly, some very little. Most require the closing of ones mind to the world’s facts and even outright denial, as others promote a higher learning of our body and mind, but even in these rare ideologies there are extremes. While religions the world over are all different, they share a common characteristic. From Mormon to Muslim, Hindu to Voodoo that characteristic is respect. They demand the up most respect from non-believers and other religious dogmas alike.

Atheists, agnostics, scientists and freethinkers however, are publicly attacked and deplored if they put forward their point of view (more so in America than Australia) in the public media. I write today because of the number of recent books that have discussed this issue in great detail and to great effect. Some of these titles include The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, The End of Faith by Sam Harris and God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. There are many more but these are probably the most notable in recent times.

While each of these books puts forward a slightly different case, they all have the same basic message. Why should we respect religion when it breeds intellectual de-evolution and when it doesn’t respect non-believers?

I recently had a discussion with a person of Muslim faith, in which I was told I should respect Allah and respect his (the persons) beliefs. Firstly to respect Allah would be going against my view that god most probably doesn’t exist. Secondly, it angered me because this person obviously wasn’t respecting my disbelief in Allah as he tried to persuade me why the Muslim faith was the one true faith. I accept that he believes in a god, but this doesn’t mean that I, or anyone else for that matter, should respect his particular beliefs. Just because you believe something is true doesn’t mean more logically minded people should pussy foot around you and tell you what you want to hear. The believers surely do not do this for me so why should I in turn respect their strange and illogical ideology. There is a difference between showing respect to an individual and showing respect to an individuals ideology.

While we can show a moderation of understanding towards someone’s beliefs this doesn’t mean we have to faun over them and work hard to not offend them. If you disagree with something someone says you should challenge it and question them. If they are offended by this then that’s their choice. This goes equally so for religious matters but is also relevant for pseudo-scientific matters. Next time you have religious dogma forced on you against your will, stand up for yourself, and remember that disbelief holds just as much (or even more) respect as even the most widely believed religion.

Do you think he saurus?

You stand on an expansive open prairie knee deep in strange fern like plants. Their rubbery branches brush against your legs as the warm breeze washes over you. You look out towards the towering mountains, covered in conifer trees. You hear a strange noise from there. Like a loud moan of a dying cow and you wonder what it could be. In fact, you wonder where you are also, this land seems different, like nothing you have ever seen.

You hear a faint rumbling coming from behind you and you turn to see what it is. There is nothing there. The rumbling gives way to a dull roar, and then the earth beneath you really starts to pulsate. From behind a copse of conifer trees comes a huge long necked quadrupedal creature, and as it extends from behind the trees you see that it is almost sixty meters in length. This creature is massive and it is not alone. A whole herd of these beasts lumbers around the bend. These creatures are called Amphicoelias. Close relatives of Diplodocus but almost twice the length.

As these massive creatures casually stroll past, you now manage to grasp the immense size of these monstrosities. It’s nearly the length of a Boeing 747!

Well in case you couldn’t guess you are now standing in the late Jurassic, 150 million years ago. These animals were the largest land animals to ever exist and maybe the largest animals to exist in the future. To get to this point try and imagine the amount of different animals that have been and gone with the final culmination being a creature of such colossal size that it is almost the size of a 747 Jumbo jet.

Lets also think about how many other dinosaurs and other animals there were even before this time slot of a 150 million years ago and lets think about how many have existed since then! I wanted to write this article because I want to try and convey how lucky we are that we even exist, how lucky we are that we have had such a rich and diverse Earth history.
The Ancestor's Tale, Richard Dawkins
We don’t need magical stories from old books to give us awe in the world and to make us excited of our existence. All we need to do is look back and be humbled by what we see. Our existence is such a small dot in the evolutionary time line of Earth and the universe and it is wonderful that we are alive today to look back on it. If you are interested in looking back at the worlds evolutionary history and getting a grasp of the vast amount of time it has taken to get to us, check out The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins. This book will truly enrich anyone’s understanding of the world we live in. It certainly opened my mind to how big the world is and how little we actually know about it.

Skelliot.