The difference between “world view” and “real world”

Two news stories. The first is from May 6, 2008:

‘Expelled’ Filmmakers Claim ‘Over the Top’ Success

“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the pro-intelligent design documentary featuring actor Ben Stein, made history this weekend as it skyrocketed into place as the 13th highest grossing documentary film of all time. Since its release on April 18, the film has earned an astounding $6.6 million while only in its 3rd week in the box office…

Even as the film continues to rake in record profits and defies expectations, however, producers of the film argue that those opposed to the film and its message continue to paint the film as a flop, unfairly comparing its performance to that of the high grossing documentaries by liberal filmmaker Michael Moore.

Source: The Christian Post

Now the second story, from June 21, 2011:

Bidding Begins for Ben Stein’s Intelligent Design Documentary

The rights to Ben Stein’s “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” a documentary that explores the academic discrimination against supporters of intelligent design, will be auctioned off in an online bidding that starts June 21…

Film producer Premise Media Distribution LP filed for a motion to sell the rights of the documentary last month. The motion comes after the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December 2009.

Source: The Christian Post

A huge success according to their worldview, a bankrupting flop according to the real world. What more needs to be said?

Is our children learning?

This one’s too good to pass up. Check out the following ad, which showed up on atheism.about.com:

Apparently, not only is intelligence not allowed, but correct spelling and grammar are unwelcome as well.

Busted

This should be fun. Apparently Vox Day has not only noticed one of my posts about The Irrational Atheist, he has re-posted it, verbatim, on his discussion forum. The whole thing. With no reply. Apparently, it’s up to his minions to “deal” with me, and the replies have already started coming in. Like this one:

Never mind that the quote he used states explicitly that Vox “will convince” us “that this trio of New Atheists, this Unholy Trinity, is a collection of faux-intellectual frauds utilizing pseudo-scientific sleight of hand… “. Nowhere is seen the word God among these. Not only he screwed up big time, he took a big dump on his critique even before writing it all.

Shhhhh, everybody. We’re not supposed to notice any connection between the idea that “people who doubt God’s existence are wrong,” and the idea that God exists. We’re not supposed to think about the implications of what Vox is writing. Vox explicitly said that he was not trying to prove God’s existence, and we’re only supposed to look at the surface appearances.

Or perhaps the commenter meant to raise a different possibility: that, whatever else atheists might be wrong about, they’re not wrong about God’s existence. Maybe TIA is just Vox’s spiteful sour grapes over the fact that, as atheists, they’re right about the one thing that makes them atheists. The one thing, in other words, that makes the issue important to theists like Vox and his fans. It’s certainly peculiar that, in a book dedicated to proving atheists wrong, Vox specifically bails out on the single most significant point which would prove atheism false.

Ah well. Let’s hope that Vox continues posting my step-by-step analysis of his book. I, for one, would be delighted.

Learn, fight hunger, kill time all at once at FreeRice.com – USATODAY.com

I’ll let this one speak for itself:

Feeling guilty about wasting time at work on computer solitaire? Join the growing guilt-free multitude at FreeRice.com, an online game with redeeming social value.

The game presents a word and four choices of definition. Pick right, and the cash equivalent of 20 grains of rice is donated by site advertisers to the U.N.’s World Food Program.

That’s worth a field trip to freerice.com–and don’t limit yourself to just one trip!

Zinger of the day

Ed Brayton, at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, quotes a Messianic Jewish leader as claiming that unless Dubya gives up his attempts to set up a Palestinian state (and incidentally bringing badly needed peace to the region), God will punish America by handing us over to a series of bad presidents. Ed sums up the situation pretty succinctly:

So let’s get this straight: If we don’t do what God says, God’s going to punish us by giving us bad leaders. How exactly will we tell?

Good question.

Fun with Santa

Was Santa Claus a part of your childhood? He was definitely a big part of mine (bigger than Jesus for most of my very-young days, in fact). It was only natural, then, that my wife and I would want Santa to be part of our kids’ childhood as well. But therein lies the dilemma: Santa is not real, and we didn’t want to lie to our kids. So we found a way to have fun with Santa, without ever lying about him.

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Howler of the Week: Laurie Roth

Just browsing around the web, I found this little gem, from a Dr. Laurie Roth (PhD).

I recall reading the glory of Christian leaders asking for Muslim forgiveness. They went on and on in their “loving” letter talking about the “relative” nature of both religions, both coming from Abraham and worshiping the same God. Just a small detail here…..IT IS NOT THE SAME GOD. Muhammad is the moon god.

And going for the gold, Dr. Laurie follows up that howler with this smug little finger-wagging (emphasis added):

Why confuse anyone though with the theological facts and truth if you are crawling and apologizing, hoping Islamic leaders will suddenly change the heart of their religion and teaching and start honoring infidels instead of killing them?

And the icing on the cake: her credentials and email address at the bottom.

Dr. Laurie Roth earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. In the late 90’s, Laurie hosted and produced a successful PBS television show called “CD Highway” that aired nationally on 130 TV stations.

E-Mail: Drljroth@aol.com

Roberts resigns

From AP and Yahoo News comes word that Embattled Oral Roberts president Richard Roberts resigns.

Roberts, facing accusations in the lawsuit that he misspent school funds to support a lavish lifestyle, resigned Friday….

His resignation is effective immediately, according to a statement e-mailed from George Pearsons, chairman of the school’s Board of Regents…

The school’s regents planned to meet Monday and Tuesday to determine action in the search process for a new president, Pearsons said in the statement.

Searching for a new ORU president, eh? The regents should contact Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship and see if he can supply them with a pool of Christian swindlers, extortioners and felons to choose from.

The geology of ancient oxygen

Via Highly Allochthonous comes this fascinating account of how the air we breathe became breathable. Being a science geek, I can’t help being fascinated by little details like the following:

In today’s oxidising atmosphere, when minerals like pyrite (an iron sulphide) and uraninite (uranium oxide) and siderite (iron carbonate) are exposed by erosion, they are quickly broken down. When you look at very old sedimentary sequences in Australia, South Africa and Canada, however, you sometimes find rounded clasts of pyrite and uraninite that have clearly been eroded and transported some distance by rivers without being altered. This can only happen in low-oxygen conditions (less than 1/1000th of the present atmospheric concentration of O2).

Of course, as an ex-creationist, I also can’t help remembering that, according to traditional creationism, those strata were laid down by the Flood, and contain the bones and stones of the things that existed prior to the sixth chapter of Genesis. Which means that there was virtually no breathable oxygen in the Garden of Eden. Nor would a Flood have done much good.–after all, if you’ve learned to get along without oxygen during the good weather, you’re not going to drown no matter how much it rains.

Crunching Noah’s Ark

PZ Myers started it by linking to the original collection. Then Greg Laden singled out the video of Noah’s Flood engulfing the world. Now it’s my turn:

Just for fun, let’s crunch some numbers, shall we? The last few seconds of the video show the Flood about to strike the Ark. Let’s see if we can calculate the height the Ark would have to fall from in order to equal the impact it’s going to experience when that big wave hits.

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