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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Missoula, MT
Home country: USA
Current location: Deep in Red State Hell!
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 5,249

About Me

Godless democratic socialist, look towards northern Europe for inspiration on what role-models our economy should aspire towards. Love the ACLU and donate heavily to them each year, wish they'd get with the program and defend the Second Amendment with as much fervor as they do the rest of the Bill of Rights. Proud member of the 99%.

Journal Archives

Good Lord! I Just Visited the Creation(ism) "Museum" in Kentucky (PIC HEAVY!)

Wowza. So I just flew out here to Indianapolis for a few days to check out the campus of IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) to see if I might want to transfer after I graduate with my A.S. degree from my community college next year -- they have a pretty decent neuroscience program from what it looks like, so I'm just going to check the campus out, meet with some advisers, talk to some alumni, etc.

But, of course, today being Memorial Day, everything's closed, so I had to figure out what to do with myself this fine Monday afternoon. On my way from the airport to the nearby hotel yesterday one of those changing electronic freeway bill-boards caught my eye: "Creation Museum." It didn't occur to me until this morning to actually Google it and find out how close it was to here (only a 2-hour drive) so with nothing better to do, I said: "What the hell? I've got to see this for myself."

When I arrived at the compound (yes, it was gated with a tall, thick metal perimeter fence, presumably to keep vandals out) I was greeted by a visible security presence, with guards dressed complete in state trooper hat and everything. (No weapons at least!) That one was just directing traffic, but there were more inside to make sure you minded your p's and q's.

You may have read on PZ Myers' blog about what happens when you attempt to question the "sanctioned" narrative -- you quickly get shown the door. They have one particular point-of-view to present, and they are NOT open to discussion.

After grabbing a quick bite to eat in Noah's Cafe (tried their "Eden Wrap", their only vegetarian option -- basically a salad wrapped in a tortilla, with a bland hummus spread) I declined to get my picture taken against one of those green back-drops that they later super-imposed dinosaurs around you (remember, dinosaurs lived along-side men, don't ya know?)

Inside the main hall was a bunch of science fail. On the one hand, they try to make the claim that the wide variety of life on Earth is impossible to have come from any single ancestor (therefore God must have done it), yet on the other hand (like with those finches), they point out how much such diversity there is still within the same species, how they can all inter-breed, therefore (you guessed it) -- God must have done it.

More science fail:

It really is amazing the kinds of contortions of logic, the hoops they jump through to try to sell their idea of a Young Earth. They honestly believe that if you don't take Genesis literally, if the Earth really isn't 6000 years old, then that means the entire Bible is suspect. Of course, they are right (about the entire Bible being suspect), but instead of adapting their views in light of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, they've decided to double-down on the Young Earth B.S. and try to twist the evidence to fit their carefully crafted narrative.

Oh, and they are REALLY obsessed with dinosaurs/monster-legends:

That came out kind of blurry, that's supposed to be Nessie in the North Atlantic there...

The only thing missing is Jesus riding a dinosaur!

They really don't like that Templeton dude either.

Turns out I just missed the "featured guest speaker" who was giving a talk titled "Is Evolution Compatible with Christianity?" -- three guesses what the answer to that one is.

At the end of the tour, I left feeling kind of sad, but hopeful. Sad because of so much ignorance being parlayed as fact to the uneducated masses -- but hopeful, because if their focus on biology inspires even a few kids to become fascinated by it so much to pursue it in college, they will have their bubbles burst in due time. When the sheer amount of evidence for evolution becomes apparent, as it does in even sophomore-level Biology courses, not only will the myth of Young Earth Creationism be destroyed, but likely their entire faith along with it.

I really can't help but think, just like the Westboro idiots, they do more to damage to Christianity's brand than they do to promote it. Because by unwittingly planting that seed, by inspiring kids to become interested in science and the amazing mysteries of life, they are in fact digging their own grave. Because curiosity will only lead to more questions, and down that path are different answers, answers not found in their precious, Holy Bible.

WOO-HOO! 4.0 GPA This Semester!

HELL YEAH!!!!!111!!!11!!

Just took my Intermediate Algebra Finals this afternoon, and totally aced it. Softball questions all the way through. I spent dozens of hours studying for it, memorizing formulas and practicing all sorts of application (word) problems, and there weren't even any of them (word problems) on the exam! Go figure. Multiple choice is so much easier than having to blindly supply the answer like on quizzes -- if you ever find yourself stuck just plug in each of the four possible answers and you can't go wrong. It's so easy, it's downright criminal! And the instructor even allowed graphing calculators on the Final, unlike with the first two exams of the semester, so with my brand new trusty TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, double-checking everything was a breeze.

I made it 2/3 of the way through the semester without a graphing calculator at all, then found out we could have one for the 3rd exam and the Final, which certainly made things a whole hell of a lot easier. I spent quite a while just getting familiar with the calculator, so that when it came to problems like these:

...I didn't have to mess around with change of base formula or whatever, I can just go into the MATH menu, select the logBASE() function, and enter in the exact expression and VIOLA! I love this thing, its so much nicer than even the vaunted regular TI-84 Plus!

Submitted my final portfolio for my English 102 (Writing Composition 2) class last week, but since it just consisted of the 3 papers I wrote over the course of the semester (which I got all A's on), it shouldn't change my grade. My Computer Information Systems Applications class was a breeze, finished a few weeks ago, well ahead of time, just basic productivity software (Word/Excel/Powerpoint) proficiency, and a General Technology exam which a 3rd grader could ace. And in my Intro Communications class, I got 90/100 and 147/150 on each of my two speeches (informative/persuasive) respectively, so that more than made up for my lackluster performance on some of the textbook reading quizzes, only needed to get a 56% on the Final in order to still get an A, ended up getting 88% -- so that's over and done with as well.

Now comes the hard part: like a dumb-ass I signed up for a 9-credit load during the Summer Semester, which is like taking a whopping 18 credits (full-time is only 12-16 credits) in a regular 16-week semester, all crammed into 8 short weeks. So if that doesn't kill me, nothing will. But I'm going to literally have no dang free time throughout the entire months of June and July, so if I disappear for awhile don't think I forgot about y'all. I was actually surprised how much free time I had this semester taking just 13 credits, but that 3-credit CISA class doesn't even really count, it was so easy. So yeah, 9 condensed could be a real trick.

If all goes according to plan though, I'll be able to graduate here in a couple years with my Microbiology degree and hopefully not join the ranks of all those college grads who are gainfully unemployed right now. LOL. Sounds like folks are having better luck with the STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) degrees though, so hopefully I find something. Will be nice making $75K/year for a change though if it works out, best job I've had to date peaked at $17.76/hour (only $36K/year), so I won't know what to do with all that money. Even if being a scientist only paid minimum wage, I'd still pursue it though. Just because the work is so important.

At least I should be able to graduate without any appreciable student loan debt, thanks to that generous Pell Grant -- $2775/semester, that "socialist redistribution of wealth" in progress. But I hope to pay it back in spades...

Energized by Senate votes, pro-gun groups pledge "extensive war" on gun control

Last month, four months after the Newtown, Conn., shootings kicked off a renewed battle over U.S. gun laws, gun control advocates were dealt a devastating blow: After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, bipartisan dinners and personal presidential entreaties, the Senate voted down a measure that would have expanded background checks for U.S. gun buyers, scuttling the primary gun law thought to have a fighting chance to make it through at least one - if not two - bodies of Congress.

For pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Gun Owners of America, both of which had been working hard behind the scenes to make sure the measure didn't have sufficient support to gain Senate passage, the Senate's actions marked a critical victory. The overarching Senate gun bill was tabled, and gun control advocates found themselves scrambling, after months of work on the so-called Manchin-Toomey compromise, to find a new path forward.
So far, Gun Owners of America likes its odds.

"Our membership has grown by almost a third - it was at 300,000, and so we're almost at 400,000," Pratt said. "We've definitely seen people's concern and people wanting to be active and I think that's probably the most exciting thing: Activism has been way up."


Looks like gun control advocates may have "fired up the base"... just the wrong one.

High Capacity Magazine PSA

While I still agree with Joe Biden that a good pump shotgun is more ideal for home-defense, has much more "stopping power" than a handgun, the author of that vid does make a point of whom a high-capacity mag ban would really affect.
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