October 2007

From Greta Christina’s Blog:

I want to talk about atheists and anger.

This has been a hard piece to write, and it may be a hard one to read. I’m not going to be as polite and good-tempered as I usually am in this blog; this piece is about anger, and for once I’m going to fucking well let myself be angry.

Read on…

From the Washington Post:

A legion of the godless is rising up against the forces of religiosity in American society.

“People who were ashamed to say there is no God now say, ‘Wow, there are others out there who think like me, and it feels damned good,’ ” said Margaret Downey, president of the Atheist Alliance International, whose membership has almost doubled in the past year to 5,200. It has a 500-person waiting list for its convention in Crystal City later this month.

I hear some theists argue that being pregnant and/or giving birth is a “miracle” from god.

Some things to consider:

  • There are over four million live births in this country every year. Medical experts note that, for every embryo that gets implanted in the womb, probably four or more do not. They just end up in the toilet. That means that perhaps sixteen million little people or more just get flushed away.
  • Each year, 6.3 million of the 61.6 million American women of childbearing age (15-44) become pregnant. 64% of these pregnancies result in live births and 21% in abortions; the remainder end in miscarriage.
  • There is the pain, bleeding, vaginal ripping, and numerous complications that can occur during birth.
  • In the United States the caesarean rate has risen 46% since 1996. If there was truly intelligent design, why would there be a need for cesarean sections?
  • The rate of maternal mortality fell between 1 in 4 and 1 in 7 before the development of civilization, then it fell between 1 in 20 and 1 in 100 until the development of modern medicine, then it fell between 1 in 100 and 1 in 200 until the development of advanced contemporary medical care, which has been available mainly in the first world, and only in the 20th century, under which it fell to 1 in 1000 and lower. Today, however, typical third world rates are still only around 1 in 50 to 1 in 100. (more on this here)
  • Only a Designer would have had the infinite wisdom and compassion to create human beings as two-legged upright creatures based on the same skeletal design for four-legged creatures. This has led to innumerable problems for men and women. Aside from lower back pain, foot, ankle, and knee problems, “to effect upright posture based on the skeletal system of four-legged animals the human female’s sacrum had to be pushed down somewhat, so that its lower end is now below both the hip socket and the upper level of the pelvic articulation…This has resulted in an encroachment on the female pelvic cavity, thereby narrowing the birth canal and rendering it too small for comfortable birthing. The result is that human childbirth is generally painful and often dangerous. The process of giving birth exposes both the mother and her infant to sizable risks of accidents and infections. For a woman with a small pelvis the rigors of childbirth can be excruciating, even fatal. No other animal has this problem.” [Wilton Krogman, “The Scars of Human Evolution,” Scientific American, 1951 – as cited in Timothy Anders’ The Evolution of Evil]
  • Only in recent times has the mortality of women and children during childbirth been greatly reduced due to advances in obstetrical medicine. Even today, however, a woman’s chances of dying from complications during childbirth remain greater than dying from complications due to having an abortion during her first trimester of pregnancy. If only the Designer had employed a uniquely improved design instead of just jury-rigging the old four-legged skeletal system to make us walk erect!
  • Speaking of another flaw (albeit a minor one compared to the above), designed into the upright skeletal system of human beings are “two major blood vessels, going to the legs, that must cross a sharp promontory bone at the junction of two lower vertebrae in the spine. The organs in the pelvis exert great pressure on those two blood vessels. During pregnancy, this pressure may build up to such an extent that the vein is nearly pressed shut, making for very poor blood drainage of the left leg. This is the so-called `milk leg’ of pregnancy. Four-legged animals experience no such problem.” [Wilton Krogman, “The Scars of Human Evolution,” Scientific American, 1951 – as cited in Timothy Anders’ The Evolution of Evil]

The only miracle I see is a theists ability to look at all this and still insist that there is an omnibenevolent deity that has infinite wisdom and creates pefect design.

Video of news segment:

News article here:

A group at Missouri State University is raising eyebrows with it’s not-so-mainstream take on religion.

The national “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” has a local chapter at MSU, and it’s sending a strong message to students on campus.

It’s the second-largest religious group on Missouri State’s campus, with more than 200 members, including MSU staff.

From Time Magazine:

Not only has the decline in non-Christians’ regard for Christianity been severe, but Barna results also show a rapid increase in the number of people describing themselves as non-Christian. One reason may be that the study used a stricter definition of “Christian” that applied to only 73% of Americans. Still, Kinnaman claims that however defined, the number of non-Christians is growing with each succeeding generation: His study found that 23% of Americans over 61 were non-Christians; 27% among people ages 42-60; and 40% among 16-29 year olds. Younger Christians, he concludes, are therefore likely to live in an environment where two out of every five of their peers is not a Christian.