Rant Back

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Evolution vs Creation & Other Important Things

You want to be surprised?

I used to believe in Intelligent Design. Yes, I did. In the past tense. I was reading this book that was trying to disprove evolution (I think it might've been Harun Yahya) and for about a month I was convinced by it. But then after that moment of weakness I caught up with my common sense again.

Reading on both sides of the Evolution vs Creation argument, now I can safely say I'm convinced by Evolution. This is due to several things:

I really don't think a God (or Intelligent Designer) creating the Universe and a man and a woman who was derived from his own rib and an incestuous start to the human race is the simplest and most believable origin story of the beginning of the human species.

There has been an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting evolution, but none for Creationism. Just vague "look around you!" shouts and a corrupted, distorted, biased and incomplete view of the Evolution theory.

What I can't digest is actual biologists (and biology students) that I know who immediately dismiss Evolution when a large part of biology owes to the theory of Evolution. It's just a theory, you say? Well, so is gravity. So is Quantum Physics. A theory is more than just vague suggestions of an answer. It is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world" (taken from here) in its scientific sense. Evolution is that. "Well-substantiated." With scientific evidence, of transitional fossils/species [1] [2] [3], and of recreated instances [1].

Using that definition, Creation isn't even at all close to a theory. Heck, if it wants to be called a theory - and it wants to be called more than that, it wants to be called the absolute truth - the only term that could vaguely work would be one under 'conspiracy.'

One of the most idiotic arguments against evolution is why don't we see people evolving back into monkeys. This is idiotic on so many levels. Clearly this person has no understanding on what the concept of evolution involves.

First of all, we don't evolve from monkeys. We have the same ancestors. So both humans and monkeys evolved from the same ape, probably millions of years ago.

Second, evolution is about getting "fitter," i.e. natural selection "selects" the best traits, and therefore evolving back into your ancestral ape would be a devolution, which does not benefit the human species.

I'm not a biologist, but I do like to read up on this stuff. I like to read Creationist "evidence" because it shows how ignorant people can be, and how dismissive of actual, scientific evidence they can be when it goes against their beliefs.

I know. The cartoon is a bit lame today. But I've kinda run out of ideas, yet I really wanted to do one.

Sometimes I just go to religious sites and read, because it makes me laugh. Of course I try and start with an open mind. But it just gets too ridiculous. Which reminds me. Watch "Religulous" by the comedian Bill Maher. It's funny. And it lets religious people make fun of themselves without even knowing it.

Like what one Anonymous guy said: "People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs"

Do I sound harsh?

I find it hypocritical when people try and use the "respect over free speech" argument for anything that criticises their religions. I think it's just bullshit. I mean, I get offended by a lot of stuff, but I don't tell people to shut up. I certainly don't issue fatwas to have people killed (Theo van Gogh and Salman Rushdie, for example). I certainly don't stand outside newspaper offices screaming "Death to Borneo Bulletin for saying Manchester City is shit because they have too much money." Yes, I made that up. People do say football is a religion.

People should have the ability and freedom to criticise anything. Absolutely anything. You want to talk about the Sultan's spending habits in detail? Sure. You want to write about how reality television is a piece of shit? Go ahead. You want to write praises about a guy who cut the moon in half and made it go in and out of his sleeve? You're welcome to.

Why is religion constantly made exceptions for? What's so special about religion that it deserves special critical protection? Maybe because it's founding principles are too weak to accept criticism. Maybe because it gives people false hope. Maybe it takes away basic human liberties. And people don't want to know that their religion is doing that. So happiness in denial is more acceptable than the rational truth?

Politics. People. Art. Ideas. Scientific theories. Literature. Your hair. These things get criticised. These things get analysed. Why shouldn't religion be in that bracket?

I admit it's a bit too early in the morning for this.

I looked up an article for you guys:

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Quote Me

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

The genius that was, Douglas Adams. Funny as hell with an unmatchable wit, his Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy books are some of my favourite books ever.

Due to laziness, here are some similar quotes, from atheists:

"Why believe in God? Just be good for goodness' sakes"
- The American Humanist Association's bus ad campaign

"There's probably no God. Not stop worrying and enjoy your life."
- British atheist bus ad campaign

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"
- Stephen Roberts

"Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions"
- Blaise Pascal

"And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence"
- Bertrand Russell. A genius mathematician and philosopher.

"Faith means not wanting to know what is true."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one"
- George Bernard Shaw (yes, I've used this point a few times)

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile."
- Kurt Vonnegut. I love his books. Amazing author

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."
- Anonymous. Yes, one of the major flaws of religion is its incapacity to be criticised and questioned.

"I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life. I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."
"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
- Both by Albert Einstein. Just to de-bunk the myth that Einstein believed in God.

"Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color."
- Don Hirschberg. I don't know who he is, but I agree.

"You know your god is man-made when he hates all the same people you do."
- Anonymous. Don't you think so?

"Theists think all gods but theirs are false. Atheists simply don't make an exception for the last one."
- Anonymous

"Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day;
Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish"

- Anonymous. Funny stuff.

"Suppose we've chosen the wrong god. Everytime we go to church we're just making him madder and madder."
- Homer Simpson. Who else? Replace church with mosque, and we get a localised quote.

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes"
- Gene Roddenberry. Yes, the guy who made Star Trek.

"Man created God in his image : intolerant, sexist, homophobic and violent."
- I'm not sure by who.

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs"
- Anonymous

"I refuse to believe in a god that would send me to hell just for not believing in him."
- Bob Snuka

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Obama Obama

Did anyone watch the inauguration ceremony a couple of days ago?

The inaugu-what?

Yes, Obama is now officially the new President of the Wor... I mean the United States of America. I think it's awesome that a half-black man who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia with a middle name like 'Hussein' can become a US President.

No, no. That's not sarcasm. Trust me, it's not. I'm being honest. I think it's awesome.

I am an Obamaniac, yes. I followed him all the way from the primary elections. I quite like his policies and his charisma. He's not someone you'd forget. I mean, I'm already starting to forget who John McCain was. Isn't he the guy who makes those oven chips?

Do I expect instant changes to the world? Do I expect an overnight recovery of the world economy? Do I expect an end of all wars by July 4th?

You must be kidding me. Of course not. What I do expect though are slow, assured changes and steps towards these goals.

Obama's been talking about the fall of partisanship i.e. it doesn't matter what party you stand for. I think the concept of parties are absurd anyway. You choose a party, then adhere to all its ideologies without question? Sounds too much like religion for me.

I need an ice-blended mocha. You, get me one. Now. I said now!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Two Thousand Fucking Nine

Trying to start writing again after a long rest feels like getting up from bed after sleeping with Angelina Jolie. You feel a creeping desire to retreat again into your deep, warm slumber in the hands of your Lara Croft.

Yes, it's me, the foul-mouthed, Jolie-obsessed, sex-deprived (well...) friend, Jason Biggs, saying happy 2009. To the whole lot of you.

Now I'm here to tell you what to do with your year. It's my time to preach. Hand over the fucking mic, Ustaz. I'm here to teach these pre-pubescent kids a lesson.

(1) Laugh at as many nonsensical bans as you can. Then think. Are there underlying things under these fuckingly preposterous bans? Like a fear of feminism? Or a fear of intellectual provocation? Or simply laughable decision-making ? Or maybe even all three?

(2) Make fun of homophobes. Call them names. Like gay-hater or something. And tell them this research find: it's the homophobes who get the most turned on while watching gay porn. Yes, it's true. He doth protest too much ain't just a saying. The people who blabber on about how homosexuality is wrong is usually insecure about their sexuality. People who are straight and comfortable with their sexuality usually don't have a problem with gays.

(3) Racists are idiots. Tell them so to their face. Tell them stuff about us all being related in terms of genes and other things. If they're still not listening, ask them what they think if you're American and started shouting "Damn fucking lazy Malays" or something. Please adjust stereotype for people of other ethnic backgrounds.

(4) Don't let me tell you what to do. Think for yourself.

Don't let anyone tell you what to think. Not even me. I'm here to get you thinking. Just one point of view, a purveyor of my own truth.

Never accept any ideology wholesale. Scrutinise every fucking thing. Every little fucking detail. If one aspect seems right, it doesn't mean the whole thing will work.

Fucking assholes.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Cinema Censors

I have been missing in action for way too long. And no, I'm not dead. Or get shut out. Or anything like that.

I am still Jason Biggs and I still have quite a lot to say.

Except right now I'm completely blank. Sheesh.

I have this little pet peeve that has something to do with going to the cinema. It's when the Brunei censors cut off a three-minute scene because it is sexual. I don't mind the censorship because there are no age limits for any movies (yes, I saw parents bringing their kids to the ultra-violent 'Wanted'), which I think is ridiculous.

But for fuck's sake, do it sensibly. I mean am I the only person who wondered what the fuck happened in the middle of '300'?

That's all I have to say on that one for now.

More posts soon.

This is just to mark my return.