Tag Archives: science

I Am A Racist


Are you a good parent? Do you love your child? Would you would do anything to save it from harm?

“Yes,” you say.

And I reply, “That is what makes you and me racists!”

Harsh words in these days of political correctness yet perhaps they reveal a truth about humanity which is being hidden from us by those who believe the word is the thing. The “word-nazis” who believe that if we all say we are not racist, then we are not racist.

Shall we set up a small “mind game”. Imagine that your four year old daughter has a friend over for the night. They’re both sleeping in the same room which catches fire. In breaking down the door to their bedroom, you have dislocated a shoulder.  You now have only one arm to carry a child out of the burning room. Both children are equally within reach. Which child do you grab?

An impossible situation in which to make an instantaneous life and death decision. A decision we all hope we would no have to make. I will try to be as honest as possible here. I would grab MY daughter. I think most parents would do the same. Because my daughter is more important to me than my neighbour’s child.

Let’s leave that mind game. It just stopped being fun. The conclusion you came to, though, is important.

It follows from that conclusion that my family is more important to me than your family. This is so obvious that it hardly needs repeating. By extension, the people in my extended family or my neighborhood are more important to me than those people on the other side of the city. When my children’s school plays sport against the school from the other side of town, I support MY school.

Even more important is the City Team, basketball, baseball, football or tiddlywinks. It doesn’t matter. I support my City team against your City team.

Our civic officials know how important it is for them to win that big new factory for our city than it is for the next city down the highway. It means jobs for OUR city. The fact that there will be no jobs for that city down the highway is just their bad luck. We are looking after our own citizens.

I think you can see where this is leading. Me and mine are always more important to me than you or yours.

This is true at family level, city level, state level and at country level. It is also true at a language level and at a racial level.

We are all racist.

It is how we react to that truth which determines whether we are good human beings or not.

It is impossible to like everyone in the world. Heck, there are people in my family I don’t particularly like. But those people, I mean, those supporters of the opposition tiddlywinks team MUST know they are supporting cheats. Those men in that army we are fighting really are bad people who will destroy our civilisation, given the chance. Of course, we are fighting this war to change THEIR civilisation, but that is an unimportant distinction and should never appear in the media or in the public conscience.

There is every reason to dislike people who are different. Yet we see examples of different groups combining for a common cause. It may be opposing Soccer teams combining into a national team to compete at the Olympics or in the World Cup. It may be groups of people from different states forming into a unified national defence force.

Who are they going to defend against? Why, those people who are defending their own city, state, nation. Of course there are reasons for war between countries and races. Often not the reasons which we are told. If we depend on oil for our economy then we must make certain of its availability. If we have too many people for our water supply, then we must ensure a greater water supply and if it means taking it from those people over there, then so be it. If our population is too large for our available land supply, then we must increase our land area. Sorry, in this time of rising sea levels, neighbours, we have to move you out.

There will now be a couple of new words invented. I cannot find recognised English words to use for the exact thoughts I need to express. “Them-ist” refers to that quality other groups of people possess which causes me to mis-trust or dislike. “Us-ist” refers to that quality members of my group possesses which cause me to like and trust them.

All this seems to be a long way from saving your daughter from a fire. Going backwards through all the steps, it is simply a difference in degree. There is no way that we can overcome this, maybe not “racist” but perhaps “them-ist” problem, even with religion. Religions are inherently exclusive. Yet there is still one final hope.

Many of us know the story of the groups of German and English soldiers in the First World War at Christmas, 1915. They both fell into the Christmas spirit, sang carols together and walked into “No-Man’s Land” where they talked together and exchanged gifts. Their generals recognised the danger of this sort of behaviour and moved both regiments to different areas of the front line.

CS Lewis once wrote;
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
‘What!  You, too?  I thought I was the only one.’ ”

With Twitter and Facebook and all the other platforms we have the chance to make friends. In making friends from all over the world we have a chance of overcoming the “Them-ist” prejudices which are built into the human psyche. Suddenly we realise that the friend we are communicating with on the internet is supposed to be one of “Them”. But that friend is just like me. The same likes and dislikes, hopes and fears, failures and successes. If we become enemies, we are tearing an “Us-ist” group apart.

I have made friends all over the world through social media in all its forms. The people I have met and made friends with have met and be-friended others. In the continuation of that series of small steps, there is hope for mankind.

In spite of our inbuilt racism.

(I first wrote this essay decades ago. Every now and then I return to it and make changes which I hope improve it. In its last incarnation it was a blog post in 2006. I know it exceeds my self-imposed 1000 word limit)

God and Science


 

Creationism: The whacky delusion that an old book containing no science at all is actually an infallible scientific text.

Reverently Burgled from I Am your God

God and His Own Existence


Reverently burgled from I Am your God

God is Fragile


Burgled from I Am your God

God and Fragility


Reverently burgled from God

God and Science


Reverently burgled from I Am your God

Some Thoughts On Our Existence


Tim Minchin (not to be confused with noted Climate Denier and all-round arsehole, Senator Nick Minchin) has the sort of rant I have to my mirror the morning after.

I am one with Calvin who once told Hobbes, “Well, remember what you said, because in a day or two, I’ll have a witty and blistering retort! You’ll be devastated THEN!”

This is that response!

Thank you, Trucie @NorwichRocks

And thank you also to whoever mentioned this on Twitter.

Go Christopher Hitchens.

How Solar Power Works


Burgled from Fake Science

Intelligent Design wins! (now stand by for details)


This Could Be Revolting


I found this pair of young ladies over on Metro’s blog.

It may be best not to watch this video.  In fact I am sure it would be a very bad idea.

I’m warning you all that that which has been seen cannot be unseen.

Belle De Jour Unmasked


So the ultimate lady blogger of mystery has been unmasked. The writer of “The Diary of a London Call Girl” has revealed all.

I first discovered her just after I began blogging. In that pre-dawn semi-darkness between Usenet and true blogging. One of my usenet acquaintances, long since disappeared into the past, had her on her blog roll. In the course of checking all the entries on this, the first blogroll I had found, Belle de Jour stood out.

Not for the subject, which was titillating and fascinating it its own right, but for the quality of the writing which was that deceptively simple readable style which is so very difficult to achieve. For several months I was a regular reader of her work. For the writing, of course. Not that there were any pictures on Belle de Jour’s daintily scurrilous blog 🙂

Always there was the wondering about the identity of this obviously highly paid escort worker. She had been blogging for a number of years and had already had one book of her posts published out in the real world. Another book was in the pipeline and there was talk of a TV series. All about the life of this well hidden author.

My blogging confidence grew, I stopped visiting her, even removed her from my own blogroll and she faded into my past as so many cyber people do. The TV series eventuated and interest in her identity grew.  Until this past week.

Reading the BBC News I found that, about to be unmasked by a tabloid, she had stepped in ahead of time and spilled all to one of the weekend broadsheets, thus positioning herself invulnerably upmarket, where she will undoubtedly stay.

Just who is she?

She is Brooke Magnanti, 34, Florida State U graduate student of informatics, epidemiology and forensic science. Brooke moved to England to study as a postgraduate student and between 2003 and late 2004 she wrote anonymous blogs under the title Diary Of A London Call Girl. Brooke is now a research scientist in Bristol.

The report in the Daily Mail suggests that in the perfect literary world of Belle de Jour, Brooke insists she thoroughly enjoyed her naughty sideline as a high-class escort girl. Others, though, might now be considering that her ability to compartmentalise her parallel lives as research scientist, student girlfriend, college oarswoman and London escort girl was, at best, emotionally distant and at worst glacially cold.

Read more here and here

Censored Nude Camel Toes and Beavers


Every day I check the statistics on my blog. Just the total visitors. After all I am not a fanatic.

Much.

But occasionally I look at the other statistics WordPress provides. It is interesting (to me) to see what brings people to my blog.

So here are the ten most viewed articles on the archive over the past 30 days.

Pornography, Censorship and Art. Same old, Same old!

The Best Camel Toe Picture Ever Taken

Nude Gymnastics and Swimming

Second Best Camel Toe Picture Ever Taken

Shaving Her Beaver

Nine Inch Nails Meets Harry Potter

The Seven Dwarves

Blonde Chick with a Nice Pussy

What Is The Speed Of Light?

It is fascinating that top of the list is a serious article although I realise it has only gained popularity because Google decided to use the image of a young girl from that post as their top image for a search on “Bill Henson”.

I’m not sure just why an image lifted from “Looks Just Like” has jumped up into sixth spot or why three innocuous cartoons are in the list.

The entry which leaves me shaking my head is at number 10. Out of 3,399 posts on the archive (this is post No. 3,400) a serious – well, sort of –  post on science rates this highly. It doesn’t seem to fit with the other nine which could be grouped as “Sex, Celebrity and Censorship”.

Butterfly Wings in Space


I visit the NASA Photo website quite often and am always impressed by the images we can see from their telescopes.

Most of the time, while I am awed and amazed, I decide against using an image on the archive because it is just “wow”.

Occasionally there is the “WOW” image.
This is one such.

butterfly

SOURCE:- NASA/ESA/Hubble SM4 ERO

Cauldrons of gas resembling butterfly wings and heated to more than 20,000 degrees Celsius tear across space at nearly 1,000,000km/h (fast enough to travel from Earth to the moon in 24 minutes). A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun has ejected its envelope of gases and is unleashing a stream of ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow. Photo released September 9, 2009.

Sex and Evolution


fish-pornThe Kimberley and Pilbara regions of North West Australia are proving to be a treasure trove for scientists.

A team led by John Long, a paleontologist at the Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, identified embryos in extinct, jawed fish from a group called Arthrodira, the predominant members of the class Placodermi. Placoderms were bony, heavily armored fish that lived about 380 million years ago, and were “the dominant form of vertebrate life on the planet for 70 million years,” Long said.

In 2008, Long’s group identified embryos in a pair of fish fossils from a deposit in the Gogo formation in Kimberley, Australia. Those fish were part of a group called ptyctodontids, which made up only a tiny portion of the Placodermi class. The discovery pushed back the origin of internal fertilization by 200 million years. The findings prompted the group to look for signs of internal fertilization in other Placoderm fossils from hundreds of samples in collections around the world.

They reexamined Gogo fossils from the Arthrodira group. In two of the fossils’ body cavities were smaller fish, originally presumed to be a well-preserved meal. But based on the position of the tiny fish and the similarity to the ptyctondontid finds, the group concluded that the tiny arthrodire fish were actually embryos. “Finding that first embryo was the key, the Rosetta stone for knowing what to look for,” Long said.

Next,  boys being boys, (hat tip to all the female scientists out there who would be far too decorous to commit the following bad taste) they had to work out just HOW these early matings took place.

Then they had to show us.

Note the silly grin on the male’s face before followed by a confused look after.  Perhaps males of most species have not evolved that much!

Also note the female superior position and the fact that she does all the work.

Information, images and many of the words gleaned from The Scientist.

With thanks to an unevolved EaGle who gave me the incentive to post this proof of evolutionary development.

The Bible


thanks, Phil