Archive for March, 2009

Dinosaurs, Camels and Bears, Oh My!

Posted in Religion, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by neandergal

The animals went in two by two… A model of Noah’s Ark on display at a UK zoo has dinosaurs happily boarding the ark between the polar bears and camels. Noah dolls and other biblical tat are for sale in its gift shop. Sounds like something out of a Monty Python sketch, doesn’t it? Alas, it is not.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm near Bristol in the UK, has a distinctly Christian theme and openly discredits science in favor of creationism on its page, Evolution: A Theory Under Pressure.

The Facebook group Sink the Ark protests the zoo on the grounds that it markets religion to children and schools. The group page includes a collection of photographs. Among the pictures is a photo of a happy looking Noah for sale in the gift shop. Unfortunately, some of the pictures (including the one of the Noah’s Ark model) are no longer available due to a Facebook account closure. This blog will post a link to them when they reappear which they undoubtedly will at some point..

One can only imagine the look on Noah’s face if he saw two Stegosauruses walking up the plank especially alongside the camels and polar bears.

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UK Backlash against Sharia Law

Posted in Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2009 by neandergal

One need not look much further than the UK to see where multiculturalism and cultural relativism can lead. The UK organization, One Law for All, held a rally in London to protest Sharia courts that ultimately discriminate against women and children. The protest, held to coincide with International Women’s Day, took place in London’s Trafalgar Square on March 7th and heard the many voices of those citizens that fled their countries of religious and political oppression.

This is not just another expression of xenophobia in the shadow of economic doom and gloom, but expressions of a real concern that some parts of Sharia law can settle disputes between families and other civil matters. It is astonishing to see the day where people are protesting religious Sharia tribunals in a supposedly progressive western nation.

In the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, it is political correctness gone awry. In an attempt to appease citizens of other cultures, governments have become more accommodating by embracing multiculturalism and cultural relativism at the expense of secular freedoms. Criticizing faith and people of faith has increasingly become taboo in a politically correct age. Johann Hari outlines this eloquently in a discussion panel at the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (the CEMB)

The resounding message in last week’s London protest is that religion is by no means a private thing. There is nothing private about people who fled their countries to escape the very religious doctrines that undermined their freedoms and find themselves in another one that extols the same virtues as their old country. Allowing different legal systems for different cultures will inevitably lead to injustice and discrimination especially where one of them marginalizes women. This is a perfect example that shows how cultural relativism does not lead to equality.

Excuse me? Farts cause erections…?

Posted in Science with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2009 by neandergal

According to the article, Fart molecule could be next Viagra published in New Scientist, rats injected with an enzyme that produces hydrogen sulfide in human penises caused erections in the randy little critters. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) smells like bad flatulance and rotten eggs.

Hydrogen sulfide relaxes blood vessels in the same way as Nitric oxide (NO). Erections occur because the arteries relax and allow blood to flow into the erectile tissue (corpora cavernosa).

What will they come up with next?

Why are women more religious than men?

Posted in Religion with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2009 by neandergal

March is Women’s History Month. It appears that religious beliefs are not history among women. A recent survey by the Pew Research Institute shows that 63% of women compared to only 49% of men say that “religion is very important in their lives” and 66% “pray at least daily” compared to only 49% of men. Women’s close affinity with religion seems odd given that religious dogma tends to be misogynistic.

So why do women flock to religion? Larry Moran, a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto addresses the question in his blog, Why Are Women Religious? He points out that, “The idea that women might feel the need to belong to a group isn’t wrong. There may even be some biological differences between men and women (hormones?) that underlie this preference for belonging.” Even if it is true that women are genetically predisposed to behaving more socially, it does not adequately explain the need for more religious affiliation.

So far, no evidence for a “religious” gene exists. Moran concludes in his article, “The fact that, today, women in Western industrialized nations tend to be more religious than men could be entirely due to culture.” Religion is as man-made as the bogey man or tooth-fairy. It is not genes that make us believe, but vivid imaginations and indoctrination.