Thursday 29 December 2011

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward Official Release 2011

This is the Official Online (Youtube) Release of "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward" by Peter Joseph.

On Jan. 15th, 2011, "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward" was released theatrically to sold out crowds in 60 countries; 31 languages; 295 cities and 341 Venues. It has been noted as the largest non-profit independent film release in history.

This is a non-commercial work and is available online for free viewing and no restrictions apply to uploading/download/posting/linking - as long as no money is exchanged.

This is a long Documentary (2hr 42min) but it's essential viewing.

Monday 19 December 2011

The Star of Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
In order for the Nativity story to be true and for the wise men to follow a star hovering over a city, it would have been necessary to believe the earth was flat.

If the earth was flat. The wise men could just look up and move towards the star. When they were directly underneath the star, they would be in the right place. Also the star would need to move then stop and hover over Bethlehem. The star the Magi followed to find Jesus is a physical impossibility, a pious embellishment. This story could only be physically possible if the Earth was flat.

Let me explain... We know the earth is spherical and rotating on it's axis. If a star is visible on the horizon in the East at sunset, The Magi could start walking East towards the star... As the night wore on, the position of the star would rotate about the pole star. In the middle of the night, the star would not be in the east. it would be overhead or on a line north or south of the observer depending on the inclination of the star from the polar axis. Later on, just before dawn, the star would have rotated approximately' 180 around the polar axis and would now be setting on the Western Horizon. 

So, if the Magi were following the star, They would start walking East towards the star on the eastern horizon. They keep following the star as it rises, but as it passes overhead or through the north/south line of longitude, they would have to change direction and start walking West. If they walked at a constant speed through the night, by Dawn, they would be back where they started the previous evening.

Now... come on.... even a believing Christian can see that's a pretty useless way to navigate.

Here's a star field time lapse video to demonstrate the apparent passage of stars overhead. Note the absence of stationary stars. The only stationary star that could possibly exist would need to be above the rotational axis of the Earth at either the North or South rotational pole. 

For an object to remain stationary over a city, it would need to be in a geostationary orbit (not to be confused with a geosynchronous orbit) around the Earth. A geostationary orbit is directly above the equator, not Bethlehem.

Additionally, a "star", even a very small star can not orbit the Earth due to it's mass. OK, I know Christians believed the Sun revolved around the Earth until quite recently but thanks to People like Copernicus, Galileo and Newton we understand why this is not possible.

Could it have been a comet? 
No, Astronomers have tried many times to fit the known orbits of comets to the time period in question. There are no likely candidates. A comet would also be seen to rotate with the star field as the Earth rotated. 

Could it have been a planetary conjunction or a supernova. 
No. Both would rotate with the star field.

Perhaps it was a UFO.
Well surprisingly, this is more plausible than the possibility of an actual Star. However we would simply be substituting an absurd myth with an un-evidenced speculation. 
Besides, the Bible clearly states it was a star (ἀστήρ = astēr). 
Something other than a star would negate the intended divine sign. A UFO (Alien Spaceship) would totally destroy any divine explanation and promote The Bible to a Sci-Fi novel.

There is another small problem. The Magi could see a star in the East and walked towards the star until it hovered over Bethlehem. That means they must have been due west of Bethlehem. So unless they started off very close to Bethlehem (within 32 miles), they would have real problems because there is nothing but Mediterranean Sea for a thousand miles west of that point.

A rather obvious solution
The Magi were probably Persian religious leaders or senior figures representing the Persian religious leaders. The Persians were excellent astronomers and would not make such an obvious error. The Bible writers were ignorant religious zealots and would happily embellish the story of the birth of their prophet with mystical nonsense and pious embellishments to add import to their stories.

The Persians were also keen Astrologers and engaged in fortune telling, horoscopes, prophesy and the reading of signs in the constellations. This is a far more plausible explanation. They were not following a physical star in the sky, but were travelling looking for a king predicted in a horoscope or by the interpretation of a particular constellation configuration.

 This fits very well because at that time, the Astrological age of Aries was coming to an end.(The constellation where the sun passes through at the vernal equinox) . The new astrological age was the age of Pisces, This may even be from where Christianity gets it's fish symbol. The king of this age would be a water sign associated with fish. The Persians were out looking for such a king. Likewise, in a few hundred years we will enter age of Aquarius.... hence the song.

The evidence points to a mistake by the Christian story writers. The Persians were skilled astronomers and would not have made this mistake. The Jews were not a scientifically knowledgeable people, They explained everything in terms of their religion and were ruled by religious zealots who enforced this ignorant mentality. The early Christians didn't understand celestial mechanics, to them, a star hovering over a city would not seem impossible simply because they didn't know what a star was or that the earth was a rotating sphere. Any mention of a geostationary orbit would have just got blank looks.

It seems quite clear that they just made a mistake when they made the story up. The mistake is quite understandable when you consider Judeo/Christian knowledge of the universe at that time. It does however throw big questions onto the authenticity of the divine origins of the Bible. This is not simply a scribal error, it is an integral part of the story that simply is not true.

If this story is to be considered true, that a physical star literally remained static over Bethlehem, the only way this can be reconciled is by supernatural magic.

.... OR...... Perhaps it's just a nice story constructed to ensure the origins of the Christian figurehead complied with known prophesy.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Skepticule Extra Podcast #18

The Skepticule Extra Podcast #18 is out now.

Featuring The Thee Pauls.

  • Father Gabriele Amorth — Vatican Chief Exorcist
  • Channel 4: — "Should creationism be taught in schools?"
    • Sam Scott Perry
    • Stephen Law
    • Randall Hardy — Creation Research
    • Rosie Harper
    • Laura Horner — CrISIS
    • Abdul Aziz
    • Michael Reiss
  • "Phillip"
  • eChurch Blog — Guardian Angels

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The scale of the Universe

A Spectacular demonstration of the scale of the universe from the Planck length to the whole universe. (Interactive Flash).
The website of the Huang Twins!

Science is Awesome !

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Quantum Jumping


"Now imagine what you could accomplish if you could somehow tap into these alternate universes to meet and learn from these alternate versions of yourself. Imagine the wisdom you’d learn. The opportunities you’d recognize, the skills you’d acquire, and the pitfalls you’d know to avoid".
"By meeting these alternate selves, you’d essentially be tapping into an endless universal sea of knowledge and experience. But how, might you be asking, does one access these alternate realities? That’s where Quantum Jumping comes in".
"The answer is that all physical matter is the result of particles vibrating at a certain frequency. A frequency that if you alter, change or amplify in any way, you change your physical and current reality".
"If Quantum Theory is correct, it implies that to change your current reality, all you need to do is change the frequency of your thoughts."

WOW !!!!! 
Where's my Credit Card?
I wonder if they do Air Miles.

Monday 12 December 2011

Vanity Personified

One single jewel from just one of this vain man's clown hats.....

Could have fed this child, his extended family and everyone in his village FOR LIFE.

The money spent on Bullet-Proofing this vain man's $511,000 clown car...

Could have been better spent.

This makes me so very sad.

Thursday 8 December 2011

You Atheists are just Angry with God.

How many times have I heard the accusation from Christians, even liberal Christians that I am an Atheist because I'm angry with God?

An Analogy:
Lets hypothesise something Christians don't believe in:-
I have tiny Magical Invisible Chromium Scorpions that live inside my earlobes. They sing to me and tell me absolute truths when ever they decide I need to know. They talk to me every day and they have never been wrong... ever.

Unbelievers can not see, hear or detect them by any means known to science, but science doesn't know everything and I know for sure they are there because I have a personal relationship with them.

All Christians have Magical chromium Scorpions in their earlobes too, but they can't hear them because their mind is closed when they choose to worship false gods.

I assume Christians don't believe in my magical scorpions? They will think it's a ridiculous belief system and obviously false.

Now suppose I said that my magical Scorpions have just told me that you must stop listening to all music... because they find music offensive, an abomination. If you continue to listen to music, your own Magical Chromium Scorpions will cause you to have a brain hemorrhage.

What would you do?

1. Would you completely ignore my instructions because you don't believe in Magical Chromium Scorpions?

2. Would you rebel against the Scorpions in your earlobes and listen to more music just to irritate them and because you are arrogant enough to think you know better than the magical Scorpions?

3. Would you feel anger and hatred toward the magical Scorpions because they are trying to impose their will on you and prevent you from doing what you want to do.

4. Would you stop listening to music in case you offend your magical Scorpions?

You have no belief whatsoever in any magical invisible chromium scorpions so option #1 is the only viable option. It's an easy decision, You can't possibly rebel against something of which you have no belief. You can't be angry or wish to irritate something that does not exist. Likewise, Atheists can not possibly be angry with Zeus or Leprechauns, Tooth Fairies... or God.

How would you perceive someone who has a very strong belief in Magical Chromium Scorpions, someone who has committed their whole life to them and will not listen to anyone who denies their existence?...   That is exactly how many Atheists perceive Theists.

So why is it that you and I and the vast majority of Christians can see that #1 is the only logical response for a non-Scorpion believer and yet many Christians still use #2 and #3 as arguments as to why Atheists do not follow their own brand of deity? 

If a Christian can understand his own reaction to 'Magical Scorpion believers' and why option #2,3 and 4 obviously contradict non-belief, why do they have a huge reasoning blind spot when they run into people who reject their own beliefs? Does an intense desire to believe override the most basic of critical thinking skills to the point where options #2, 3 and 4 seem perfectly rational and can be used to explain Atheism.

Why are they perfectly capable of recognising the absurdity of such arguments for all other belief systems... but see no contradiction when the exact same absurdities are manifest in their own arguments.

What is the reason for this mental blockage?  Can anyone explain the psychology to me? How does it work?

Sunday 4 December 2011

Skepticule Extra Podcast #17

The Skepticule Extra Podcast #17 is out now.

Featuring The Thee Pauls.

  • Spam from psychic web site.
  • Anjem Choudary - Islam4UK
  • Libel Reform Campaign
  • Nutty US Republican Nomination Candidates
  • Unbelievable? The Conference DVD set.
  • Attributing to God
  • Absolute Morality
  • Remembrance Sunday

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Taking Scripture out of context

This animation by NonStampCollecter is a good demonstration of how Theists use the "Out of Context" ploy to excuse the parts of scripture they themselves find repugnant and unjustifiable.

Nice one NSC.