Sunday, January 19, 2014

From miraculous sightings and science to the Sunday Terror in full cry, and that's just the start of another meditative Sunday ...

No link to this piece, if would only take you into the paywall hell known as the lizard Oz, but what the heck, you can read the story within here with the same clickbait graphic. 

What better way to start off a meditative Sunday? What omen, what sign, what portent is involved?

Is god a sadist, smoting her sexist image? All that graven image yadda yadda. Or is she a masochist, loving to be smoted? Or is it a sign that god is extremely anxious that She'll be presiding over a disastrous world cup this year, and once again it'll all be the fault of women?

Or, lordy, lordy, could it just be a weather event?

"I have already endured the situation of being at the Christ at a time of rain and a lot of lightning, and it is scary. But we have a plan to quickly take all visitors away from there," the priest said. (yep Fairfax recycled the same DPA report here with more pics)

Was it only nine days ago the wire services were full of 'hand of god' stuff (click to enlarge):

And silly Christians rushed off to scribble tosh like this:

... it's interesting to note that essentially modern science was born in a Christian milieu about 500 years ago - with early contributions from the ancient Greeks.

Vanity, all is vanity saith the preacher. And how do we know that? Well while contemplating the image, and purporting to peddle science - with a little help from the useless Greeks - Dr. Jerry Newcombe then went on to this:

I've had the privilege of interviewing on several occasions for my radio show Dr. Stephen Meyer, who earned his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science at Cambridge. Dr. Meyer, a fellow at the Discovery Institute, is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Darwin's Doubt. 
I asked Dr. Meyer for a statement for this particular article. He wrote me: "Far from conflicting, the overwhelming scientific evidence of design in life and in the universe-in the digital code stored in DNA and in the fine tuning of the laws of physics, for example-clearly shows that science can-and does-provide support for a theistic view of reality." (here)

Oh go build a creastionist ark with Russell Crowe - make sure its three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high, got to make plenty of room to fit in all the dinosaurs - while the rest of us head off to The New Yorker to read Gareth Cook's Doubting "Darwin's Doubt":

Most absurd of all is the book’s stance on knowledge: if something cannot be fully explained by today’s science—and there is plenty about the Cambrian, and the universe, that cannot—then we should assume it is fundamentally beyond explanation, and therefore the work of a supreme deity. 
But do not underestimate “Darwin’s Doubt”: it is a masterwork of pseudoscience. Meyer is a reasonably fluid writer who weaves anecdote and patient explanation. He skillfully deploys the trappings of science—the journals, the conferences, the Latinate terminology. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the philosophy of science. He appears serious and, above all, reasonable. The Cambrian argument has been a part of creationism and its inheritors for many years, but Meyer’s project is to canonize it, a task he completes with great skill. Those who feel a hunger for material evidence of God or who sense that science is a conspiracy against spiritual meaning will find the book a thrilling read. Which is to say, Meyer will find a large audience: he aims to start a conversation, or to at least keep one going, and he seems likely to succeed. 
The book’s best, most honest moments come in the concluding chapter, in which Meyer travels to see the famous Burgess Shale in person. His son goes ahead on the trail but then suddenly freezes, stricken with vertigo after peering down the mountainside. Meyer likens his son’s paralysis to modernity’s despair at materialism, its shock at the prospect that the universe is utterly indifferent. Meyer writes frankly, saying that his quest is to give people back their sense of meaning and purpose. Here, at last, Meyer is not pretending to be a scientist.

Alas, a moment spent amongst Xian fundies abusing science can turn into a lifetime, and it's distracted the pond from its usual task of contemplating the wit and wisdom of the tabloid Sunday Terror, home to one of the world's best known climate scientists, Cardinal George Pell.

But first let's have a little panic attack:

Sweet Jesus, at almost two a week, that's almost 104 a year, and in a town of some 4.5 million plus, that's a bloody catastrophe.

You can lather yourself into a state of fear by reading Almost two Sydney women a week are converting to Islam, while keeping in mind that a headline like Thousands of sensible Sydney women a week ignore yet another stupid religion is much less likely to press the buttons for Terror readers.

Well that's the Terror's fluff done and dusted.

As for the Pellists, we're shocked to report that Cardinal Pell has been kick hit by David Penberthy, and knocked off the rotating digital splash of doom at the top of the Terror website, at least at time of writing.

They're both part of the Terror's current Laura Norder campaign, but it seems the inscrutable, mysterious powers that be preferred Penbo's Coward punchers give drinkers a bad name to the Pellists One-punch hitters are cowards, the title given to the piece by the subbies in preference to the story's actual header, I fear dysfunctional families are at heart of violent culture.

Perhaps they feared someone might come up with an alternative header, I fear dysfunctional churches are at heart of violent and perverted culture.

As usual, Pell couldn't resist, however briefly, turning himself into a harumphing Colonel Blimp:

The unlikely prospect of ­national military service probably wouldn't' help our defences much, but could help the self-image and self-control of many young men.

Yes, what we need is more professional trained killers, so we can ship them off to Afghanistan and Iraq and make sure it's their streets that run with blood and drone king hits.

As for unwanted pregnancies?

Good schools ­remain our best chance to provide for an increasing minority what they do not receive at home. 
Why would anyone be surprised that a pregnancy ­resulted from an unsupervised Year 8 party with plenty of ­alcohol available? 

Could the pond just suggest an amendment?

...with plenty of alcohol available, and no decent sex education, nor even a hint of the efficacy of using sensible contraception, an ignorance long promoted by the Catholic church ...

It's been a long time since Pell published his insights into climate science - he set the pace in 2011 - and surely the time is right for him to return to the fray.

Meanwhile, it was left up to Akker Dakker to smote the greenies and the secularists with his mighty vorpal blade:

Naturally the pond mis-read the juxtaposition and thought it said Why Akker Dakker makes me feel all gooey.

Sadly Akker Dakker's piece shows all the signs of having been flung together in a drug-induced haze, with large mindless chunks repeated down the page, including this gobbet:

Di Natale, and others who find fault with the human tendency to hope for something better than human intervention, have long attempted to traduce religion, most specifically, the Judaeo-Christian. Curiously, their voices are rarely if ever heard querying the all-too frequent barbaric acts of suicide bombing, ­beheading, female genital ­mutilation and denigration of women carried out in the name of Islam. 
Yale University political philosopher, David Goldman, quoted in the current Quadrant magazine, touched on their problem when he mused: "It was the supreme folly of the past generation's policymaking to believe that peoples who do not know the God of Covenants might reproduce the American model." 
The reference was to the ­serial failed attempts to manufacture new states out of war zones in which biblical faith did not form part of the cultural base. 
Some so-called "progressives", if not Di Natale, ­acknowledge the need for Bible study but think the Bible should be replaced with a newer model but they cannot actually find another canon. 
Di Natale is attempting to deny a natural human appetite, understood for millennia by people of all religions, to seek spiritual values in arcane mysteries.

Hopefully an NZ subbie will be flown in to fix the garrulous one's repetitions.

In his usual way, Akker Dakker has the brain of a gnat, not seeming to understand that Islamics are in a religion that seeks spiritual values in arcane mysteries, while their fundies go about smashing art, music, women and anything else available apart from beards and the patriarchy (much like the fundies of other faiths? Anglicans v gays in Africa anyone?)

But it's equally bizarre for Akker Dakker to support really dumb American exceptionalism, since to be fair, we're really talking about a model discovered long before the Americans did, and long before the Republicans learned how to reduce it to dysfunctional inertia.

And if biblical faith is an essential part of a cultural base that produces superior understanding, why has the United States, allegedly built on said cultural base, been so fucked in the head as to think it could manufacture new states out of war zones, and so hied itself off to conduct the experiment most recently with two completely useless and pointless wars?

Put it another way. If George W. Bush is part of your cultural base, maybe it's time to get a new base.

As usual, it's the Islamic fundies that cop the blame, but what did they learn from the west? That might is right, and we can bomb and rone the shit out of you if we like, and you'll just have to suck it up. So there, that's democracy at work for you, and never mind how many walked across the harbour bridge in protest ...

All of which leaves little time for the Sydney Anglicans, who seem to have gone into spiritual hibernation, or at least their website has, with the Jensenist pieces still carrying on about super 8 cameras and education.

Anyone desperate for an angry Anglican fix might head off to St Marks, and will be appalled to discover that what's being promoted is a piece published in December in The Drum, The sticky residues of Christian faith.

Make of that metaphor - sticky semen as a residue on a paper tissue - what you will, and scrape it off how you will (eek, it's got on to the sheets and gone cold and clammy), but did the metaphor have to be splashed all over the walls of the church?

Just don't forget your tithing!

Meanwhile, the pond impatiently awaits next week's Sunday Terror and Akker Dakker's tremendous, sustained, albeit repetitious assault on the fundie complementarianism of angry Sydney Anglicans, such as can be read about here and here. Seeing as Akker Dakker mentioned women's rights ... and forgot to mention the equally abusive way fundie Islamics and Anglicans diss gays and their rights ...


  1. If George Pell is going to buy into Law and Order issues let him produce a column about Australia's treatment of asylum seekers.

    The Pope has made it quite clear that he believes the world cannot turn its back on people in dire need.

    Let George Pell use his column to provide his views on the subject.

  2. "you're not entitled to a pain-free execution" according to Assistant Ohio Attorney General Thomas Madden. So they chose to experiment with a new drug combination to execute Dennis McGuire.

    It took over 15 minutes for him to die during which time McGuire was gasping, choking and making loud snorting sounds whist writhing around.

    Sort of makes the activities of Dr Menegle and Unit 731 seem kind of normal. It was just an experiment after all.

    God bless America.

    1. Or maybe you could just pop someone in a Florida picture theatre because the popcorn throwing got out of hand. God bless America.

  3. St Andrews served notice on sticky residues


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.