Carry On, Camping!

21 Apr

Meet Harold Camping:

That cheerful-looking gentleman is the president of a religious radio network based in California of which he is an evangelist mouthpiece. Perhaps it’s just me, but that picture makes him look like the sort of person for whom the word ‘camping’ would be le mot juste; but I digress.

This particular idiot character has been setting the internet buzzing for a while now with his End of the World™ prediction – and just for a change, it’s not December 21 2012. According to the prophet Harry, Judgement Day (AKA Armageddon, The Rapture) has been scheduled by Yaweh for May 21, 2011. That’s right; precisely one month away from this posting. It’s especially interesting because Family Radio claim to be a non-profit organisation (groan).

What? You want some proof, you say? You don’t think a real scientist (he has a B.S. in Civil Engineering) would make claims like that based purely on nothing, do you?

Well, yes as it happens. He’s applied a numerological system of his own invention to the xtian bible to come up with:

 By careful study of the Bible we learn that in the year 4990 B.C. (Before Christ) God brought a flood of water and destroyed the entire earth except for eight people and the animals that were with them. They were not destroyed because God brought them into the safety of the ark. Their leader, Noah, had obeyed God’s command to build a huge boat, called an ark, about 450 feet (137 meters) long.

The Holy Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Seven days before the beginning of the Flood that completely covered the entire earth, God commanded Noah to warn the peoples of the world that they had seven days to get into the safety of the ark. The Holy Bible tells us that on the 17th day of the 2nd month of that year God shut the door of the ark. Then, the Flood began to completely cover the entire earth.

About 5,000 years later God wrote in His Holy Bible in 2 Peter Chapter 3 about this worldwide destruction by water in the days of Noah. In the same chapter He also warned that the time would come when Holy God would destroy the whole world by fire. Our entire universe would be forever destroyed. In between these two declarations of worldwide destruction that would come because of sin God made a very important statement. God declared in 2 Peter 3:8:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

God had written in the Holy Bible in Genesis 7:4:

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

God added in Genesis 7:10-11:

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the Flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

The ark that Noah had built was the only place of safety from the destruction of the Flood. Likewise, God’s gracious mercy is the only place of safety from the destruction that is coming on the Day of Judgment.

In 2 Peter 3:8, which is quoted above, Holy God reminds us that one day is as 1,000 years. Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day. Because Holy Infinite God is all-knowing, He knows the end from the beginning. He knew how sinful the world would become.

Seven thousand years after 4990 B.C. (the year of the Flood) is the year 2011 A.D. (our calendar).

4990 + 2011 – 1 = 7,000

[One year must be subtracted in going from an Old Testament B.C. calendar date to a New Testament A.D. calendar date because the calendar does not have a year zero.]

Thus Holy God is showing us by the words of 2 Peter 3:8 that He wants us to know that exactly 7,000 years after He destroyed the world with water in Noah’s day, He plans to destroy the entire world forever. Because the year 2011 A.D. is exactly 7,000 years after 4990 B.C. when the flood began, the Bible has given us absolute proof that the year 2011 is the end of the world during the Day of Judgment, which will come on the last day of the Day of Judgment.

Amazingly, May 21, 2011 is the 17th day of the 2nd month of the Biblical calendar of our day. Remember, the flood waters also began on the 17th day of the 2nd month, in the year 4990 B.C.

And that’s just a sample. The rest is here, if you really must.

To summarise:

  • The Great Flood happened in 4990 BC (I know – just roll with it, ok?)
  • Noah had 7 days to build, crew, load and sail The Ark;
  • “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years”;
  • 4990 BC + 7000 years = 2011 (you have to fudge around the Year 0 thing)

A couple of questions spring to mind, however. If “one day = a thousand years”, where do the forty days of The Flood fit in? They were supposed to take place after the seven days warning. Did the deluge last forty thousand years? And how much time did the forty nights represent? Then there’s all that stuff about knowing not the hour the Lord doth come, thus making prophecies of it pointless. By which I mean pointless for scriptural reasons, we all know the exercise is pointles for reality reasons.

Hmm. Fundy reasoning: now with 75% more self-contradiction.

And before the apologists start all the damage limitation and spin, let’s not forget that Camping previously said the world would end on September 6.

1994.

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Vote of little confidence?

18 Apr

Had an interesting little leaflet about the upcoming “Alternative Voting” referendum pushed through the door today (lucky we had that letterbox put in or anything could have happened). Normally these things go straight in the bin, but I decided out of boredom to give this one five minutes. Now, I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about the proposed ‘new’ system, apart from it being Proportional Representation with a shiny bow attached, or that it would “make MPs work harder for [our] votes” – a phrase that instantly set off my Bullshit  Alarm. I’d also be lying if I said I cared.

This leaflet’s on behalf of the “No to AV” campaign, so it can hardly be described as a completely unbiased source. Nevertheless, it purports to set out in detail how PR – sorry, AV – would work (for best results, imagine the following being read out by Sir Humphrey Appleby):

You use numbers to rank the candidates in order of your preference. You put 1 next to your first choice, 2 next to your second choice, 3 next to your third choice and so on.

The number 1 votes for each candidate are put into a pile and counted. If a candidate receives more than half of the number 1 votes cast, they win and there is no further counting. If no candidate receives more than half the number 1 votes there would be at least one more round of counting. In round two, the candidate with the fewest number 1 votes is removed from the contest. If their supporters’ ballot papers show a number 2 vote for another candidate, they are added to that candidate’s pile. If the ballot paper does not show a number 2 vote, it is no longer used.

If no candidate reaches 50% after the redistribution of votes, the candidate with next fewest votes is removed from the contest, and their supporters’ ballots are looked at again to see if any of the remaining candidates are ranked. If so, the ballot papers are moved to the pile of the candidates ranked highest on each ballot paper. If none of the remaining candidates are ranked, the ballot paper is no longer used.

If more candidates are involved, this process can be repeated until one candidate has more than half the remaining votes.

What could be simpler?

Regardless of whether AV is really fairer than our current system, whether MPs really want us to tell them to work harder, and leaving aside the claim that only three other countries actually use the system (at least two of which apparently want to scrap it) – ignoring all of that, there is one tiny detail about the impending referendum which shines out like a beacon amidst the darkness, or a diamond in a cesspit.

We are to be given two options: “Yes” to change to AV, or “No” to keep the present system. The results of which would be counted and the one with the most votes wins.

You know – first past the post.

Thank you, PCS!

11 Apr

I just wanted to take this opportunity to give a big thank you to everyone’s favourite cretin creationist, the ever-popular VenomFangX.  In the seven days since I first blogged about his performance on The Magic Sandwich Show, the posts specifically about him have attracted a whopping (for me, anyway) 110 hits out of a total of 153… and 37 of them were on Friday, my busiest day on record!

Like the old saying has it: the mightiest oak from the smallest nut doth grow.

“It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality.”

5 Apr

With that in mind, here’s the final serving of Magic Sandwiches to chew over:

Part 10:

Part 11:

(The webpage referred to, exposing the ‘Cretaceous human hand bones’, can be found at the end of this link. Note that even Answers in Genesis, that fount of creationist bullshit, doesn’t agree with PCS on the subject of Cretaceous human fossils. When an organisation founded by the repellant Ken Ham which runs the ridiculous Flintstones Creation ‘Museum’ in Kentucky thinks you’re talking shit, you ought to be hearing alarm bells.)

Part 12:

Part 13:

In summary:

It’s clear that dialogue with someone as fossilised in their dogma as Shawn/VFX/PCS is for all practical purposes impossible. To us it’s a debate; to him it’s an opportunity to preach (he would call it witnessing). And to what end? Thunderf00t, Don, DPRJones and the rest try to educate. If the knowledge they share with us can get just one person to think, to perhaps question the misleading or inaccurate things they may have been told about our world, then they will have added to the sum total of human advancement. All the Shawns of this world want to do is to tell us we’re going to hell. They are just little people with little minds desperate to feel important.

Notice that when asked directly, PCS stated categorically that he rejects evolution outright and nothing can ever change his closed and locked mind. Even if he could be convinced of the reality of evolution and similar physical realities, he would see it simply as confirmation of the power and glory of his pet god. Contrast that with Don’s stating that he would be convinced that evolution would be false if he was presented with poodles from the Permian Era or comparable evidence. Which of the two is the open-minded one?

The icing on the cake was the ‘human handbones in Cretaceous rock’ myth thrown up in response to Don’s request. That illustrates why creationism is nothing but a shell game. Quite why anyone can possibly find such bullshit in the least convincing is one of those mysteries that we may never solve. If we could, we’d be able to inoculate against Time-Share holidays and kindred bottom-feeding parasites. Just remember: only lies require lies to support them. If creationists truly had anything of substance to offer, don’t you think they’d be doing more than posting videos on the internet, or building fake museums and Noah’s Ark amusement parks just so they can line their pockets by exploiting the gullible?

Now it’s just getting sad

5 Apr

The third Magic Sandwich trilogy is now online and I’m starting to think that Shawn, that odious Hovind-larva, is taking the piss. Nobody can be this pig ignorant…

Part 7:

Part 8:

Part 9:

By this point even the non-Shawns on the panel are losing patience. Not for nothing was he christened Posterboy for Creationist Stupidity (PCS) by Thunderf00t in his acclaimed and highly recommended “Why do people laugh at creationists?” series.

Here’s a piece of free advice for you Shawn. Countering any point that shows up the plot holes in your silly story book with “Well I don’t believe that’s true” but never actually backing that statement up doesn’t make you look clever or intelligent, nor does it win the argument for you. It just makes people want to hit you.

Until next time, Shawn: here’s a compass and a map. Reality’s over that way.

Creationists get funnier!

4 Apr

Further to my previous post, parts 4 & 5 of the Magic Sandwich Show are now online [EDIT – Part 6 is up now, too]:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

It never ceases to amaze me just how far some people will twist the facts of reality merely to paper over the gaping plot holes in their holy books. When Star Wars or Star Trek fans do it, we laugh and maybe urge them to get out of the house more. Here, Shawn believes the Earth is little more than six thousand years old (because that’s the figure you get when you add up all the ‘begat’s in the bible – which must never be questioned); thus he is forced to distort, corrupt and otherwise ignore all data that contradicts that belief.

To quote the good Doctor, “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views… which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

Creationists are funny!

4 Apr

Yesterday popular BlogTV channel “The Magic Sandwich Show”, perhaps in an attempt to one-up The Atheist Experience last week, hosted the infamous YouTube creationist VenomFangX. The RationalWiki article at the end of that link will give readers unfamiliar with Shawn, as he is also known, a fairly detailed summary of his personality – such as it is – and qualifications. However I can boil it down to one revealing sentence: RW lists the page under the heading “List of internet kooks”.

Anyway, Magic Sandwich has begun uploading the show onto YouTube for those of us who missed the live version. As I write this, the first three parts are available and without wanting to give too much away, Shawn is as knowledgable and as intelligent as he ever wasn’t. Enjoy the show as my YT friend [2012 Edit: and now fellow WordPress blogger] Thunderf00t – upper left corner, named Xavier Lumens for reasons best known to himself – toys with Shawn as a cat does with a mouse.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Words of Comfort: The Aftermath

28 Mar

Well, it’s over, the dust is settling. The verdict? Ray Comfort is as crazy – and/or dishonest – as ever. For anyone who didn’t see it live the recording should be available on the AE front page in a day or two. (UPDATE: Recording now online. Share and enjoy!)

I’ll attempt a skeleton review here, leaky memory permitting. To avoid spoilers I’ll put it under the fold, thus:

Continue reading

Words of Comfort

25 Mar

Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice…

… pull down your pants and slide on the ice.

Sorry; just slipped out. Bonus points, though, if you can identify the source of that quote. Points deducted if you Googled it.

(Where was I? Oh, right…)

This Sunday, clear an hour in your diary, grab some popcorn and a brew of your choosing, and kick back to watch The Atheist Experience
– details on the end of the link. Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did.

Ray Comfort’s coming to play.

Continue reading

The Devil went down to Georgia, gets no further than South Carolina

25 Jan

Miriam Fowler Smith, a 65-year-old woman from South Carolina, is facing  a charge of felony animal cruelty after she killed a Pit Bull Terrier left in her care – for the capital crime of chewing her Bible. Apparently she feared that this “devil” dog (her words) would go on to maul neighbourhood children, so she hanged the poor creature with electrical cord before burning the remains.

While it’s clearly inappropriate to indulge in armchair speculation based on a sketchy news report, I think it’s fair to say that people in their right mind wouldn’t even dream of inflicting such torture on another living thing and certainly not on such a flimsy excuse. Where’s all this love and compassion the Bible supposedly teaches? Whatever happened to “thou shalt not kill” ?

On the bright side, however, at least the authorities are taking proper action over the case; the woman is facing six months to five years imprisonment. Let’s hope she gets the psychiatric treatment she clearly needs.

Though thankfully rare, this is hardly an isolated incident of a person invoking the devil as an excuse for horrific behaviour. Back in 2008, Joshua Mauldin from Galveston, Texas, was sent down for twenty-five years after microwaving his 2-month-old daughter a year earlier. Fortunately little Ana Marie survived (though not unharmed) and has since been placed in foster care.

Even more horrific than the little girl’s ordeal, though, was the reaction from her mother – and I use the term in its loosest sense. She actually excused her husband’s unthinkable actions, claiming that Satan saw him as “a threat” because of his efforts to become a preacher, so manipulated Mauldin’s known mental disabilities.

As Christopher Hitchens says, “religion poisons everything”. It causes otherwise morally upright individuals to commit, and condone, the most inhuman atrocities without batting an eyelid. At least the excuse of “the Devil made me do it” is not yet recognised by the courts.

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