Creationism in the UK

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Published in

Now I get to be a smug American and point out that Creationism and science illiteracy isn't just a problem on this side of the Atlantic:

Poll reveals public doubts over Charles Darwin's theory of evolution

More than half of the public believe that the theory of evolution cannot explain the full complexity of life on Earth, and a "designer" must have lent a hand, the findings suggest.

And one in three believe that God created the world within the past 10,000 years.

In the survey, 51 per cent of those questioned agreed with the statement that "evolution alone is not enough to explain the complex structures of some living things, so the intervention of a designer is needed at key stages"

A further 40 per cent disagreed, while the rest said they did not know.

The suggestion that a designer's input is needed reflects the "intelligent design" theory, promoted by American creationists as an alternative to Darwinian evolution.

Asked whether it was true that "God created the world sometime in the last 10,000 years", 32 per cent agreed, 60 per cent disagreed and eight per cent did not know.

The figures aren't that far removed from the latest survey of American. I think Young Earth Creationism is slightly high here. It would have been nice to see them break down the survey by location, age groups and level of education.

I hope this isn't a harbinger of things to come. I had seriously convinced myself that Creationism would die along with the evangelical Baby Boomers but they are popping out babies faster than everyone else. Ah well, maybe I can find some creative new avenues of profit in this New Dark Age. Now excuse me while I go bone up on my cold reading.


Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | | Published in

Exactly 2 years ago, the single funniest event in our lifetime occurred.

That's right. On this day, the promoters of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters created an all out terror panic in Boston simply by putting up some promotional Lite Brites that the police mistook for IEDs.

Wikipedia article.

What followed during the aftermath was the best press conference ever!


Bart Simpson: Now officially OT VII

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Published in

And now for something completely different. Apparently everyone's favorite lovable cartoon skateboarder Bart Simpson is a Scientologist and has been doing robocalls in the greater Los Angeles area promoting his upcoming auditing session.

Watch the shocking video here!!!

In case that video gets pulled like the YouTube video did it wasn't REALLY Bart but voice actresses, Nancy Cartwright making the calls. She's thrilled about reaching OT VII and wants everyone to come see her speak at the Scientology Center in Hollywood. Nancy is currently in trouble with Fox for unauthorized use of the Bart Simpson voice and name. No word yet on how they will punish her.

Word is that Anonymous will also be attending the event on Saturday in full Simpsons gear.

Read With Discernment!

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | | Published in

Christians just love to put warning stickers on other people's stuff. Whether it is dirty records or biology textbooks, some people just seem to relish telling others what they should or should not peruse.

But now it seems that some Christians have turned on their brothers. LifeWay Christians Stores has slapped "Read with Discernment" labels on several books saying that their authors “may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.” Translation: the authors don't toe the line of standard evangelical dogma. On their blacklist is The Shack (for daring to espouse Universalism) and several "emergent Christianity" authors who have the audacity to reject Sola Scriptura in favor of post-modernism.

Now, Lifeway is obviously free to slap whatever they label they want on any books that they sell. However I'd be remiss to not point out the hypocrisy of them still selling books that they consider theological pornography. And I would like to point out that EVERY book should be read with discernment. We shouldn't belief something just because it already matches up to our preconceived notions. Don't be afraid to go outside your comfort zone of beliefs. And be hypercritical of everything whether it's the Bible, the Principia Discordia, or a Playboy magazine.

Question everything you read (including this post).

Current's Razor

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | Published in

Noted YouTube religious parodist Edward Current has a new video explaining Occam's Razor. Or rather, he's replaced Occam's Razor with Current's Razor. Note the nice dig at Truthers in the middle.

Verwirrung 2.0

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | | Published in

The Verwirrung blog over at Principia has decided to do a reset and Cain has been gracious enough to offer me a chance to be one of the new contributors. Looks like the roster (for now) will be Cain doing politics, Richter doing survivalist articles, LMNO on the Law of Fives, me doing the religion beat, and Professor Cramulus writing on internet subcultures (I think). I think a few other people volunteered but haven't made firm commitments yet.

I really have no idea how often I'll find something interesting to post over there. I'm still struggling to find interesting things to post here. Ah well. I'm sure I can find one or two strange religious stories to talk about every week. I'm really hoping that this project gets off the ground and Verwirrung because a destination blog for Discordians to network around. There doesn't seem to be any hardcore Discordian blogs out there and hopefully we will be able to fill that niche.

PS. Hi to anyone visiting here from over there. Take a look around and tell me how much my blog sucks.

Schizophrenia and Self-Perception

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Monday, January 26, 2009 | Published in

Researchers at MIT are doing some interesting studies on schizophrenia and perception right now.

Schizophrenia may blur the boundary between internal and external realities by over-activating a brain system that is involved in self-reflection, and thus causing an exaggerated focus on self, a new MIT and Harvard brain imaging study has found. The traditional view of schizophrenia is that the disturbed thoughts, perceptions and emotions that characterize the disease are caused by disconnections among the brain regions that control these different functions.

But this study, appearing Jan. 19 in the advance online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that schizophrenia also involves an excess of connectivity between the so-called default brain regions, which are involved in self-reflection and become active when we are thinking about nothing in particular, or thinking about ourselves. "

People normally suppress this default system when they perform challenging tasks, but we found that patients with schizophrenia don't do this," said John D. Gabrieli, a professor in the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT and one of the study's 13 authors. "We think this could help to explain the cognitive and psychological symptoms of schizophrenia."

Gabrieli added that he hopes the research might lead to ways of predicting or monitoring individual patients' response to treatments for this mental illness, which occurs in about 1 percent of the population.

Poe's Law

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Published in

One of the more interesting memes that's reared it's head on the internet in the last couple of years is Poe's Law. This law was originally proposed by the great NathanPoe, a regular at Christian Forums. Poe's law states:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing.

This includes any and every kind of fundamentalism although it was originally in regards to Creationism. The great part about Poe's Law is that it makes trolling extremely easy on religious forums.You can make up any old crazy belief system and people will think that you are being honest.

The scary part though isn't that people will take you serious. No, no, no. The scary part is that no matter how crazy of a belief system you pull out of your ass there will always be someone out there with an EVEN CRAZIER belief system. You can't out-fundie a fundie. They have no trouble believing in six impossible things before breakfast. There is no way your brain can even begin to compete with their looniness.

There is a downside to Poe's Law though. The fact that someone will always take your parody seriously means that it is (almost) impossible to satirize fundamentalists. They are self-parodies. Like the law says, unless you slip in some very obvious humor (or slyly wink to the audience) there is no way to tell the difference between someone seriously sharing their beliefs and someone just aping them.

"Satire is over. Reality has made it obsolete."

Discordian Hymnal #002

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | Published in

Let us all rise and open our Discordian Hymnal to Page #002:
3 AM Eternal by KLF

The War on Discord

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, January 20, 2009 | Published in

Millions of people today are still celebrating the swearing in of President Obama and some are saying that his inauguration speech many go down as one of the best in history. However, the Discordian community sees it differently. With one short sentence Pres. Obama has declared War on Discord:

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

Many groups see this statement as both offensive and un-American. The Reverend Jim Reinard of America's United for Discord is quoted as saying:
This is a complete outrage. Apparently Mr. Obama has forgotten his history books. This nation was founded on Discordian principles. Would there have been a Declaration of Independence without discord? Would we have had a Revolutionary War without strife? And where would the Constitution have been if our Founding Fathers hadn't conflicted over the Articles of Confederation? I expect a full retraction from Pres. Obama in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Elaine Whipspittle president of the Discordian Alliance of Mothers has written a press release stating:

We at the Discordian Alliance of Mothers are appalled at Obama's resolve to strip our children of their fundamental right to be raised in the faith of their parents. Our religion is not "an introduction to terrorism", as Mr. Obama portrays it; to see how wrong he is you would only have to see the joyous look on a child's face as she places memebomb stickers on public property.
Not everyone is opposed to Obama's new front on conflict though. Central Scrutinizer of the Concordian Movement was quoted as saying:
Success on all fronts! At last someone has awoken to the insidious international threat of DISCORD and has dedicated money, manpower, and bureaucracy to combat this extremely precise problem!

The Obama administration was unable to be reached for comment at this time.

(Thanks to Nigel and Hoopla for their help)

Academic Free-For-All Day

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Monday, January 19, 2009 | Published in

The Alliance for Science has decided to do something about the Discovery Institute's proposed "Academic Freedom Day". They decided to propose their own holiday:

Ever since that sad debacle known as the "Enlightenment", a cult of knowledge-and-learning has insisted that any investigation be based on what has been learned in the past. How limiting! If we can only free our minds from the yoke of wisdom, the possibilities become endless. Also, there is way too much hero worship these days. Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, blah, blah, blah. They are just a bunch of old dead white guys. Why stand on the shoulders of giants when we can peer from between their ankles?

On Academic Free-for-All day, everyone can have it their way. Don't worry if 99.9% of the experts on some subject agree on one conclusion about the facts -- if your 'gut' says differently, then go for it! No matter how wacky the idea is, you can usually find a handful of cranks with Ph.D.s to back you up!

Sounds like a good example of Truthiness to me.

The Amazing Randi on Miscommunication

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Saturday, January 17, 2009 | Published in

The Amazing James Randi now has his own YouTube channel and has put up a couple of his Randi Speaks segments. I thought that this one on the importance of communication was worth sharing.

(I love the Houdini poster just over his shoulder, btw)

Summum Trolls the Supreme Court

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Friday, January 16, 2009 | Published in

Some time later on this spring the Supreme Court of the United States will hear the rather interesting case of Pleasant Grove City (Utah) vs. Summum. For those who have never heard of Summum, they are a religious group based in Salt Lake City founded by a man named "Corky" Ra. It's sort of Gnosticism meets Mormonism meets Scientology. Weird but mostly harmless.

Back in 2003 they petitioned the government of Pleasant Grove, Utah to ask if they could erect a monument to their “Seven Aphorisms of Summum” next to a thirty year old monument of the Ten Commandments in the city park. The city, of course, said no and Corky, of course, filed a law suit saying that his free speech rights had been violated. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit agreed with Corky, stating that since the park is a public forum and that the Ten Commandment monument was private speech from the original donor Corky is allowed to erect his monument. The city appealed it to the highest court in the land which that brings us around to today.

Interestingly enough, Pleasant Grove is being represented by Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice, a right wing Christian group that often fights against the separation of church and state. I say interesting because the ACLJ is going against their usual argument that religious groups should have equal access to public property. They are actually arguing that the original Ten Commandments monument is government speech rather than private speech and that the park isn't a public forum. This means if they win there would be a precedent in the legal system saying that monuments on public property are government speech and every single Ten Commandments monument in America would be subject to removal.

However, if Summum wins it could also be a huge win for all minority religions and irreligions. All public property that currently has a religious monument on it could be considered an open forums that would have to accept almost any religious monument. Discordians could argue for a monument to the Law of Fives. The Pastafarians could argue for even more Flying Spaghetti Monster statues. Atheist could ask for a monument to... um... nothing? It would be just like the chaos in the Washington state capitol last December times several thousand. Sounds like a great idea for a GASM to me.


Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Thursday, January 15, 2009 | Published in

In order to be lazy I'm copying over my collection of personal memebombs from the other blog. I'm probably going to delete it soon and want to make sure that I have there for future posterity. Some of these are good, some of these are atrocious, some I don't even remember writing. Hopefully someone somewhere will gain a little bit of enlightenment from them.

IO's Razor: Never attribute to intelligence that which can be adequately explained by sheer dumb luck.

Godhood is only a pill away

Eris: She's in control when no one's in control.

No one cares if you lie on the internet.

When someone starts talking about The Truth, run!

Idealists have a hard time understanding that the universe doesn't give a fuck what they believe in.

Democracy is a popularity contest.

Eternal Truths are neither.

Theology: The only subject in the world you can study for your entire life and end up knowing less than when you started.

IO’s Law - Anyone who un-ironically types out the word "hmm..." on the internet is nowhere near as clever as they think they are and should be ignored at all costs.

If you can't laugh at yourself, then others will do the laughing for you.

Quick! Everyone count to zero!

* - For very limited definitions of "magick" and "real".

If God was real, you'd be dead by now.

Everyone has their favorite blind spot.

Happiness is all in your head.

Your model is dead!

Don't cut off your nose to spite your faith.

"Think outside the book."

"This _______ for entertainment purposes only."


Only biased people have opinions.

A well placed stiletto is more powerful than a thousand pens.

The "counter-culture" is neither.

"That's just what I believe" is not a valid argument.

Discordianism: It stirs the coffee.

Religion is a man staring at a tree and wondering who is moving the leaves.

Walk away and pretend this never happened.

Apophenia: Seeing the fnords

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | | Published in

One of the biggest links between Discordianism and Skepticism is Apophenia, the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. A more specific form of apophenia is Pareidolia, finding images or sounds in randomness. This includes things like the Man in the Moon, bunnies in the clouds, inkblots, EVP, hearing Satan's voice in backmasking, seeing the Virgin Mary's face in a grilled cheese sandwich, and, of course, seeing either a star or pentagon in 5 pebbles.

Apophenia is covered several times in the Principia Discordia. First there is the Law of Fives: ALL THINGS HAPPEN IN FIVES, OR ARE DIVISIBLE BY OR ARE MULTIPLES OF FIVE, OR ARE SOMEHOW DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY APPROPRIATE TO 5. In other words, if you try hard enough your mind can make enough convoluted paths that all lead back to the sacred 5. Even when a number doesn't have a five in it, doesn't add up to five and isn't a multiple of five your brain can still find a way to coax a five out of it. And the more you look for fives the more fives you see in your everyday life. "I find the Law of Fives to be more and more manifest the harder I look."

Another great example of apophenia in the PD is Starbuck's Pebbles.

Do these 5 pebbles REALLY form a pentagon?
Those biased by the Aneristic Illusion would say yes. Those biased by the Eristic Illusion would say no. Criss-cross them and it is a star.

An Illuminated Mind can see all of these, yet he does not insist that any one is really true, or that none at all is true. Stars, and pentagons, and disorder are all his creations and he may do with them as he wishes. Indeed, even so the concept of number 5.

The real reality is there, but everything you KNOW about "it" is in your mind and yours to do with as you like. Conceptualization is art, and YOU ARE THE ARTIST.

The lines between the pebbles don't really exist. You are the one that creates them. Your brain takes what should be completely useless information, five stones, and processes it into useful information, a shape. There is absolutely no reason for your brain to do this. And there is no way to stop your brain from doing it without rigorous practice.

The grey stuff between your ears is constantly processing data from the world around you. It places a grid over everything you see. When data is missing, it fills in the gaps. When presented with completely random noise your brain sees signals that aren't there.

In the next several days I hope to post on how Skepticism deals with these false signals.

Ann Coulter: Best Troll Ever?

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | Published in

Someone over at FSTDT decided to post a 3 year old article from Media Matters about Ann Coulter's book Godless: The Church of Liberalism. Yes, it is pointless to bring up old news like this, but sometimes you see something so stupid you have to stop and stare. And surprise, surprise! Coultergeist actually knows less about science than she does about politics:

Throw in enough words like imagine, perhaps, and might have -- and you've got yourself a scientific theory! How about this: Imagine a giant raccoon passed gas and perhaps the resulting gas might have created the vast variety of life we see on Earth. And if you don't accept the giant raccoon flatulence theory for the origin of life, you must be a fundamentalist Christian nut who believes the Earth is flat. That's basically how the argument for evolution goes.

Now, besides the fact that she has no idea what a scientific theory is. She also completely ignores the fact that science has this interesting little things called experimental evidence. Add to that she seems to think that science is always provisional instead of dogmatic. At some point you have to wonder if she has a fact-checker at all.

Or there is an alternative hypothesis: Maybe Ann really is the greatest troll of all time. Perhaps she knows that she is spewing pure bullshit and doesn't care as long as she gets her paycheck. Or it could be that she is just a brilliant performance artist that is deeply misunderstood like Andy Kaufman.

At least there is more evidence for that than her Giant Raccoon Theory.

Dear Rev. Reinard, 1/12/09

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Monday, January 12, 2009 | Published in

Q: I really want to serve God, but I don't know how. Just showing up at church doesn't seem like much, but what else should I be doing? - Mrs. M.W.

A: Well, the first thing that you need to do is find a good piece of God. I usually suggest a 6 lb cut from the rump area (Exodus 33:20-23). Next apply your favorite rub. I like a mix of salt, pepper, paprika, and dry mustard. Place the roast on a shallow baking pan and then into a 325 degree oven. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure you don't over cook. No one likes a tough deity. Figure about 18 minutes per pound for rare meat. And if you aren't going to cook it rare then WAYSA? Let meat stand for 10 minutes so that the juices can settle. Serves 10 to 12.

Because I Feel Like Sharing...

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Sunday, January 11, 2009 | Published in

No, I didn't do this but I wish I had.

(Hat tip to Madigan The Nubilous, on

Mind the Gap

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | | Published in

Yes, it has already been 2 days since I last posted. I promised myself that I wasn't going to have gaps of several days between posts because that is one of the things that quickly killed my last sad sad attempt at blogging. Alas, life gets in the way. This weekend I learned that there is something worse than dial-up internet: satellite internet. Apparently satellite internet refuses to connect when it is partially cloudy outside. I've been been able to even check my e-mail this weekend. Curse you, o cruel fates!!!

Anyways, since I don't really have enough time to write a full post right now (and I'm really really behind on what else is going on in the blogosphere) I'll just give you a sneak preview of what I hope to be posting about in the near future. I should have a post done for tomorrow or Tuesday about Apophenia/Pareidolia and how skepticism and Discordianism are linked by it. I hope to have a post in the next week or so about the importance of the Court Jester and how humor can have a strong political effect. I might (or might now) have a post about the Militant Agnostic Society soon. I'll have to spend some time brainstorming about it first.

I hope that there are enough stupid things happening in the meantime so that I don't end up with another 2 or 3 day gap. I'm hoping that this blog will become a permanent fixture. I really don't want it to peter out like the last blog did. It'd be nice if I had an actual audience too. I think I'll have to pimp myself after I've got a few weeks worth of posts going...


Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Friday, January 9, 2009 | Published in

Via the NotAP News:

Reports out of LA recently have confirmed that HIV Denier Christine Maggiore has in fact died from complications of a rare disease called NOTAIDS. An unnamed spokesperson from Maggiore's Alive & Well has said that this new previously unknown disease drastically damages the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections, such as bilateral pneumonia that lasts for 6 months. It has also been known to cause false positives on HIV tests. The spokesperson also said that they hope to set up a fund in Maggiore's name to research cures for NOTAIDS and that they have some positive early leads with herbal supplements and crystal therapy.

The spokesperson did not say if there were any current plans to change the name of the organization.

The Discordian Hymnal #001

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Thursday, January 8, 2009 | Published in

Let us all rise and open our Discordian Hymnal to Page #001: Dogma by KMFDM.

(Lyrics NSFW)

Denyse O'Leary Shows Scientists How It's Done

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, January 7, 2009 | Published in

Intelligent Design Proponent/Shameless Self Promoter Denyse O'Leary has once again overcome the dastardly logic of the evil Atheistic, Material Naturalist, Baby Jebus-hating Darwinists by showing that she doesn't believe in Natural Selection because it is too magical:

A couple of years ago, after I had been following the controversy for several years, I found myself listening to a long lecture by a Darwinist, replete with bafflegab and pretty lame examples. Finally, sensing (correctly) that I was unconvinced, he proclaimed to me, "You just don't understand how natural selection works, do you?"And suddenly, the penny dropped. What he meant was that I just don't believe in magic. I can't make myself believe in magic; I haven't been able to since I was a child. And I was no longer going to give the matter any attention.

A process that causes organisms that are better adapted for their environment to survive and reproduce more often than less adapted organisms just seems like crazy witchcraft. Furthermore, the fact that I don't understand it means that it's automatically false. Now if you'll excuse me, I must attend mass today. Near the end the priest plans on saying an incantation over a piece of bread and a glass of wine in order to transmogrify them into the body and blood of Jesus. Have a Blessed Day.

*- One quote is real and the other is fake. You're big enough to understand satire, right?

Discordian Skeptic? How Dare You!

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | | Published in

Yes, yes, I know. Discordianism and Skepticism are ideas that are often opposed to each other and very rarely overlap. How is it even possible to be a follower of oth at the same time? Which I assume is what many of you are asking right now.

Maybe I need to go back and explain both positions first. Discordianism is the worship of Eris, the goddess of Chaos, Discord, and Strife. Ok, not really. Discordianism is more like an irreligion stance that focuses on the illusion of order and chaos in the universe. It is an attempt to escape dogma of all types. Or as I have called it elsewhere, "militant subjectivism".

Skepticism, on the other hand, is "a scientific or practical, epistemological position in which one questions the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence". It is the rejection of all supernatural explanations in favor of critical thinking and inductive reasoning.

Again, you may ask, how do this two things ever intersect and how can someone be a disciple of both? One is about being completely subjective while the other relies whole-heartedly on being objective. All very good question, I might add. The main similarity between them is the outright rejection of beliefs. As the late Robert Anton Wilson said, "belief is the death of intelligence." Or as another wise man said, "A belief is just a thought you keep having." Holding on too tightly to one ideology or another stops all thought. We should strive to question things as often as possible. And don't stop questioning until you stop moving.

That being said, I'm not a big fan of "woo" like some of my fellow Discordians are. I'm not currently a practitioner of Chaos Magick but I have tried it before. I realize that the occult is a very subjective thing that happens between your ears and won't begruge someone for their beliefs unless they try to pass it off as something it's not.

Now, as for what I'm planning on for this blog: I'm hoping to give an irreligion and humorous outlook on such skeptical hot buttons like religion, Creationism, alternative medicine, the "Culture Wars", psychics, Big Foot, and whatever other woo comes down the pike. Barring that I'll just make fun of a lot of people for being idiots. Hope you enjoy the ride.