Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For Melanie

This is a special post dedicated specifically for the purpose of hopefully raising funds in support of my daughter Melanie, who has recently been diagnosed with incurable small-cell ovarian cancer. Her prognosis is not good, doctor's estimate she has one year of life remaining. She is determined to fight this battle for life and I, along with the rest of my family and her friends, will do everything possible to help.

Advances in medical science happen frequently so all hope is not lost, treatment invariably costs money however, and every little helps. Please go here to help Melanie and be assured of our heartfelt thanks.

Many Thanks,


Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Psychiatric treatment has long been considered to be at best, of dubious benefit to people suffering from mental problems, many learned people hold this view and with good reason.

Unlike other medical disciplines, psychiatry is really non-scientific, e.g.

  • There are no medical tests to determine mental illness of any kind.
  • No psychiatrist can claim to have “cured” a patient – not one.
  • Some psychiatric drugs have proven to be downright dangerous to physical health.
  • The Freudian and Jungian basis for psychiatry is seriously flawed; the case sample sizes used were far too small to be statistically and/or scientifically significant.

At the annual APA conference a number of interviewed psychiatrists admitted all of the above.

In spite of this, the profession generates over $100 billion a year in the USA alone, so practitioners will not be going away any time soon!

As yet, I don’t have a well-founded theory as to why people give so much credence to psychiatry but it must at least be partly due to the respect given (rightly) to the medical profession as a whole.

I will write further on this subject once I’ve done more research.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Irene 02

A bit late

Friday, July 14, 2006

Havering Homeopaths

Humankind’s worst natural enemy is the Anopheles mosquito; it carries the deadliest strain of malaria that kills more than 2 million humans a year. An increasing number of these deaths are occurring in people from Europe and the USA who visit Africa on trekking style holidays that take them through mosquito infested zones.

The general nonsensical trend towards so-called “alternative” medicines is making the problem worse. It seems that some backpacking woo-woo’s are ignoring medical advice by taking useless homeopathic placebos instead of real anti-malarial drugs.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine sent an investigator to visit several homeopaths to ask advice about malarial protection; in every case some form of homeopathic quackery was recommended; only one practitioner said that a doctor’s advice should also be sought. Despite the recent statements made in professional medical publications indicating the ineffectiveness of homeopathy, many people still cling to fallacies. They don’t appear to understand that malaria is not like catching a minor self-limiting ailment that they think was cured by homeopathy but that in fact had simply left of its own accord. Sadly, maybe that’s what it will take, a number of malarial deaths in the homeopathic woo-woo population to ram the point home.


The homeopaths themselves are the real danger in all this; perhaps a naïve few of these charlatans actually believe their own nonsense, but I suspect many of them know they’re peddling crap and don’t care if easily-duped people die in their care.

I herewith challenge any homeopath or woo-woo to provide me with evidence of a case where a homeopathic medicine was proven to work. Evidence mind you; don’t give me comments that are simply stories or tales of self-delusion, I won’t even bother verbally destroying such pathetic garbage.

P.S. If you’re not sure about being a woo-woo, you probably are!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Irene 01

This is for Irene, she knows the reason why.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Genome DVD

A few years back it was fashionable – perhaps it still is – among wealthy moribund egomaniacs, to make provision for their bodies to be stored cryogenically, in hope of a future time where science had advanced to the point that they could be thawed out and reanimated.

I wonder how long it will be before these expensive freezing facilities go out of business. Pretty quickly I think, and they’ll be replaced by much cheaper smaller establishments requiring almost no maintenance. They will still charge huge fees of course, spinning some bullshit about having to use gold or platinum DVD cases or something equally nonsensical. Now that I think of, it a DVD would be capable of storing a large family, an ordinary CD would be adequate for an individual.

I refer of course to data. It’s now possible to sequence a person’s DNA and store their entire genome as computer data. Sometime in the future it’s virtually certain that a machine capable of synthesizing DNA from data, will be built, this means today’s breed of egomaniac will pay to have their genome stored instead of all that messy flesh, blood, bones and guts. When the time comes someone like a DJ will take your CD, stick it in the machine and hit the “Go” button, a new “you” will pop (arghh) out the other end. I imagine they may even make a reality TV show of the process, perhaps titled “Weekly Resurrection”, “The Swinging Blue Genes” or something equally nauseating!

Yes, I’m having some fun here but the basics are true, indeed, if I had the capital I’d give some consideration to starting a genome storage business, you could charge half what the freezers do and still make a fortune.

Mark my words, someone will do it, just remember, you first saw the idea here!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Well Done Oz (Again)

A few months ago I wrote a short post praising the good sense shown by the Australian government, now I find myself having to do it again. If they keep going like this all sensible people will want to live there!

Prime Minister John Howard, Treasurer Peter Costello and Education Minister Brendan Nelson have dealt with rising religious fanaticism in a typical direct, in-your-face, down to earth Aussie manner. Apparently some Muslim clerics have been trying get Sharia law recognised and have been teaching that there are two laws, Australian law and Muslim law.

Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, said that radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state and its laws were made ONLY by parliament.

“If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you," he said on national television.

Nelson told reporters:

"Basically, people who don't want to be Australians, and they don't want to live by Australian values and understand them, well then they can basically clear off."

Howard angered Muslim clerics by voicing his support for monitoring of mosques to ensure extremist terrorism was not being planned. Here are some further quotes the Aussie politicians made.

“Immigrants, not australians, must adapt. Take it or leave it, I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.”

“This is our country, our land and our lifstyle, we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining and griping, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, the right to leave!"

“If you aren't happy here then leave. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country you chose.”

Clearly both Bush and Blair could learn from these simple statements but I bet they won’t.

All I can say is:

“Well done Australia

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The World Cup

One more week and the World Cup will be over and a good thing too as far as I’m concerned. Everywhere you go football hype surrounds you, pundits and commentators spinning patriotic bullshit and extolling the virtues of the current heroes who are about to make sporting history.

Before the competition, the England team were touted as having a great chance of winning the cup, its’ star players spoken of with reverence. The largely inane crap was enough to make a sane person puke, use of the word “quality” seemed mandatory in all sentences.

As usual, the real world had a different plan.

England scraped their way through the early stages largely due to the luck of the draw, their performance was poor. When they eventually had to face stronger opposition their deficiencies were highlighted and they lost their match against Portugal. Rooney, one of their star players, disgraced himself and was sent off for kicking an opponent in the nuts in a very sportsman-like manner.  

Astute readers will have correctly guessed I’m not a football fan although I played the game as a schoolboy. At that time of course, sport was still sport, I lost my interest in it when it became what is today, simply business, just another way of making money. A very effective way also, it uses the primitive in-built tribal characteristics of human beings to automatically make them fans, and causes many of them to part with significant percentages of their income in loyal support of their heroes. Heroes, I might add, whose talents could perhaps be better employed in Hollywood or the theatres of London’s West End. I don’t just mean their feigning on the playing field, the post-match scenes of grown men sitting on the ground with tears running down their faces was terrific theatre. They looked like a bunch of babies who’d had their lollipops stolen; pictures guaranteed to endear them to the hearts of existing fans and perhaps even create some new ones.

When I was at school, sports were a mandatory activity but participation was based upon ongoing academic achievement, it was instilled into us that sport was good but meant nothing when compared to a good education. I may be wrong, but it certainly doesn’t look like that philosophy applies today.

Sport is beloved of all governments; they generally support it whole-heartedly because politicians are well aware of its power over the masses. Giving the public something of no importance to occupy their minds is a great tool in the ongoing government propaganda battle to control us and divert our attention from real issues they don’t want us to think about. Sadly, the majority of us fall for it hook, line and sinker.

I watched the World Cup mainly out of academic interest, to see if things had changed or if improvements had been made. I saw only that blatant cheating was still rife and true sportsmanship was almost gone; sorry, I think the term “beautiful game” is a complete misnomer.

I remain convinced that being a football fan is akin to being religious, to get anything out of it you have to throw your brain out the window.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Next Dark Age?

2300 years ago a man named Eratosthenes proved the Earth was a sphere and calculated its size to a high degree of accuracy. He did this in an age of zero technology using only sunlight and a brain unfettered by mysticism or religion. If you had strolled into the Great Library of Alexandria a few years later and asked the scholars therein if the Earth was flat, they would likely have patted you on the head and explained kindly that their buddy Eratosthenes had proved otherwise.

Now fast forward 1500 years and imagine trying to explain your findings to people in any European city, most likely you would have been forcefully told that everyone knows the Earth is flat. In addition, you would have been reported to the local religious leaders as a heretic and tortured into accepting their dogma on pain of death and eternal damnation. Such was the power that religion held over us at that time. Only a few hundred years after Eratosthenes, the mystics and religites destroyed the Great Library and burned the scrolls, almost nothing remains of what once was the greatest repository of knowledge in the world. They also murdered the female librarian Hypatia, who may have been the world’s first feminist – the Dark Ages had begun.

It seems clear then, that mysticism and religious dogma held us back and suppressed knowledge for more than 1500 years before the changes made during the Age of Enlightenment became accepted. Imagine where we would be now had the Great Library of Alexandria flourished and spread its knowledge and thirst for learning throughout the world, perhaps poverty, famine, ill-health, wars and illiteracy would be but dim memories or may have never even existed.

There is no doubt that some religious bodies in recent times have tried and succeeded in doing good, unfortunately, it’s also true that in general, religion has been the scourge of humankind and has slaughtered millions of us for no sane reason whatever.

As a matter of interest, if you’re a religious person, ask your local minister/pastor/priest or whatever to explain how Eratosthenes did his feat. If you get the answer then it’s likely that they have read about it and should therefore be ashamed of themselves, if not, then I’d bet they wouldn’t know how to do it.

In this world of charlatans, woo-woo’s, astrologers, spiritualists, religious lunatics and sundry assholes, it’s beginning to look as if The Next Dark Age is approaching and I’m reminded of Carl Sagan’s words.

“…the candle flame gutters, the demons are stirring.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


For me, time is the most precious commodity in life. I say this because like everyone else, I don’t know how much of it I have left; I do know that the older I get, the more precious time becomes. I’m at the stage now where wasted time annoys me more than at any other point in my life; I try my best to plan living in a way that maximizes what I get out of time spent. I allocate and value time like a miser would allocate financial resources, as far as I’m concerned the old saying that “time is money” means nothing, time is immeasurably more valuable than money.

Please don’t misunderstand; some of my time is spent in ways that others may think of as wasteful – spending five minutes studying clouds, for example. I have what I call “time value yardsticks”, I use these to gauge how much time I should allocate to any activity or even inactivity, such as sleeping. The yardsticks are broadly based and have several sub-sections within each category, as follows:

  • Learning: this is my most important category that contains yardsticks of time slices for all that interests me. It occupies most of my time and is very well spent; it gives me boundless satisfaction.

  • Computing: sometimes this activity overlaps and merges with learning but not always, blogging for example, is not learning whilst programming sometimes is.

  • People: I try to give time to people and personal interaction, sometimes it’s time well spent and rewarding, sometimes it’s not.

  • Entertainment: most of this comes from involvement with the other categories and I enjoy the occasional movie, but TV is so silly and crappy these days that I seldom watch it. I’m careful and selective about what I watch and strictly allocate only the minimum time required, idly watching TV is a serious waste of time. Having said that, I never miss “The Simpsons” but would not insult myself by watching people demean themselves on “Big Brother”.

  • Observing and dreaming: I find I’m able to trigger certain types of dream by thinking about things I’ve observed. Just before going to sleep I conjure up mental hypotheses about observations I’ve made; it often leads to excellent dreams.

I had early retirement forced upon me but I can’t say I’m sorry, the increased time available to spend on doing what I want to rather than what I have to, is a huge compensation.

I’m acutely aware that this life is my one and only shot, I won’t get another one so I’m trying my best to get the most out of it before nature recycles me. I know I will never come back but the knowledge that the atoms I’m made of might in the fullness of time form part of some worthwhile structure in the Universe, gives me comfort enough.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Darwin's Champions

Richard Dawkins is probably the world’s best known champion of Darwinism; not because he’s a fine scholar – although he is – but because he always has to defend Darwin against fundamentalist detractors. Most of these opponents refrain from attacking Darwin directly, but a few do. One of the worst web sites I’ve come across that makes a venomous attack upon both Dawkins and Darwin, is the Goodschools pages (see my links). This site calls both these men bad scientists and trashes Darwin on racist grounds, which is of course, completely irrelevant as far as Darwinism is concerned. Would a cure for cancer be rejected if discovered by a racist? Only a fool and perhaps the author of Goodschools would answer that question affirmatively. This man simply ignores the huge amount of evidence supporting Darwinian evolution, highlighting the fact that his knowledge of science or even what it is, amounts to zero.

The other day however, I was uplifted by the excellent Charlie Rose video interview that Google is currently showing for free. The program features two of the world’s most eminent scientists, Professor E. O. Wilson of Harvard and Dr. Jim Watson, co-discoverer (with Francis Crick) of the structure of DNA. The video was made about a year ago just after both men had published individual anthologies of Darwin.

At the start of the program Watson states his opinion that Darwin was the most important person who ever lived on Earth – Wilson agreed. Important not just because he was the first to get it right, but because he showed that no Creator was needed.

Watson’s statement that we are now able to see evolution at work within the DNA of persons living in different climatic conditions, is a crushing blow to the weak argument - often put forward by Creationists - that evolution cannot be seen.

Best of all however, was the attitude of Watson and Wilson towards anti-Darwinists, they behaved I thought, like kindly grandfathers mildly admonishing unruly children for talking nonsense through ignorance. If you’re not a closed-minded bigot then I highly recommend you watch this video, you’ll gain an insight in to the minds of real scientists who produce real results that benefit humankind in this world.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dumb Democracy

Political leaders in the so-called free world seem to be making more and more decisions that make less and less sense. I’m sure there are many reasons for it, but one of them seems to be the general “dumbing-down” of Western populations coupled with the rise in fundamentalism taking place. Politicians will always pander to the voters, when voters are largely made up of people who believe in an invisible man who lives in the sky, how can we expect rational political decisions?

The problem with democracy is that it allows almost anyone to vote, no test of intelligence or sanity is applied, only an age restriction, why is that? Age is no guarantee of fitness to vote. Some would argue that nothing needs changed because voters with extreme views would be outweighed by the majority well-balanced view. I say bollocks! It’s akin to the faulty premise of twelve individuals in a jury reaching the right decision, it’s well known that juries can easily be bullied by just one or two determined jurors who consciously or not, are aware of the human tendency to follow leaders and use that fact for their own ends. Politicians and religious leaders understand this lemming or sheep-like characteristic also and manipulate their flock accordingly.

When religious idiots like Falwell call upon American parents to get their children baptized and get them registered to vote, is it any wonder that war-mongering regimes like the Bush dictatorship rise to power and threaten the lives of all of us? I’m amazed that young people in the USA don’t seem to realize they’re being manipulated and filled with a load of religious and patriotic fervour by those who seem to consider them only as cannon fodder in the war to control Middle Eastern resources.

If you doubt that, take a look at current events, young service-persons are sent to Iraq conned into believing they’re fighting terrorists. They’re trained to kill, but when they do so they get punished, when the enemy kills them, well…that’s tough. Has the death of any British or American soldier in Iraq reduced terrorism in the slightest? Of course not, rather terrorism has increased as all thinking people knew it would before the whole deadly fiasco began.

It’s not very long ago that we considered women to be unsuitable voters but thankfully we’ve rid ourselves of that ridiculous situation so I see no reason why a further radical change in the system should not take place. How about restricting voting to those who are not religious? After all, politics concerns life in the real world not in some imaginary place. Yes, I know people would lie but we could monitor their behaviour, this is perfectly in line with the current privacy invasion we tolerate right now! Islamic extremists would love this because they already believe that voting shouldn’t happen at all, only the laws of Allah have any meaning, politics mean nothing to them.

Imagine a world where governments are elected by voters who have demonstrated an ability to make sane rational choices based upon reasoned argument that benefit all, or at least the majority of people. It would I’m sure, be a more fair and peaceful world than the ‘bullshit-the-majority-please-the-privileged-few’ world, we have right now.

In short, our present so-called democratic system is laden with shortcomings that need serious overhaul or perhaps complete replacement.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Illusion of Freedom

Shortly after 9-11, Noam Chomsky predicted that many governments would use the so-called “War on Terror” as an excuse to apply stringent restrictions on their populations. What he said has largely come to pass already and further measures are underway to impose even stronger control over us. Nothing to do with terrorism of course, just the power mongers tightening their grip and adhering to the dictum that a frightened, tightly controlled public is more easily fooled and less likely to ask probing questions.

If you live in the UK or the USA, you probably think you live in a free country but you don’t – you never have; it’s just that your freedom is quite a bit less than it used to be. Having lived in both these countries, I see that Britain is less free than America and its people more easily suckered by their government, just look at the coming identity card nonsense; they will make all of us carry one and make us pay for them! If that happens you can kiss even the illusion of freedom goodbye; you’ll be living in a police state.

He was wrong about the date, but Orwell had it right. The unseen power mongers own the media and pull the strings of their political puppets but are wise enough to keep themselves out of the limelight, they use the media to feed us bullshit designed to make us think the way they want us to. We’re led to think we live in a democracy but since democracy is government for the people by the people, then it’s clear we don’t! When was the last time you saw the British or American governments doing what the majority of their populations want? It almost never happens.

I can think of many examples but let me ask a question about something that been going on for a long time now. What do you think the majority would say if the people were asked if their private mobile phone calls should be monitored? I think most would be against this but it’s happening right now and we never even got consulted on it! Some readers may not believe this but you don’t have to be a genius to devise a test phone call!

The warlike, control-the-world-under-Jesus policy that Bush’s controllers are trying to implement is already eroding the freedom of American citizens and is set to apply many more restrictions on them, all in the name of anti-terrorism of course. I think it was Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s best presidents who said:

“Those who are willing to give up a little freedom for a little security, deserve neither freedom nor security”

I think he was right.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Contrary to popular belief, I consider patriotism to be undesirable and dangerous to world peace. Yes, I know we all like that feeling of national pride, that surge of emotion felt when our national anthem is sung or our national team plays sport. But I think we should be suppressing, not indulging in that emotion; it stems from our tribal past and is not appropriate in the modern age.

Politicians encourage patriotism but it’s clearly more in their interests than ours. By standing apart and looking in as it were, I see that nations displaying a high degree of patriotism also display the most warlike tendencies; the USA, Israel and to a lesser extent, the UK, are good examples. At the personal level, I notice that the most patriotic persons are often religious and of limited reasoning capacity.

I know some will feel insulted by what I’ve just said but I can’t help that, it’s just the way things are, those prepared to cast off their tribal dress and take a dispassionate look, may see the same thing.

In the days when one tribe clashed with another, the primitive weapons were capable of causing a few deaths but posed no danger to the species as a whole. Nowadays, our weapons are easily capable of destroying humanity entirely and many of us are obviously still largely driven by primitive, tribal instincts; that’s why patriotism is dangerous.

Since tribal days we have made huge technological advances but very little progress in learning to live with each other has been made. Actually, all we have really done is to increase the size of our tribes and call them nations.

We must change our behaviour before the notions of nationality and patriotism cause us to eradicate ourselves.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

America's Hume

America, who and where is, your Hume?

The current state of the USA, awash in fundamentalist religious fervour coupled with bad political leadership, strongly reminds me of Scotland as it was three hundred years ago, just prior to the age of enlightenment.

David Hume was one of the many Scottish intellectuals that came to prominence in the 1700’s and was the first to loosen the iron grip the church or “kirk” - as it’s called in Scotland – had on the country at that time. He did it with rationality and the conviction that man controls his own destiny; he wisely stated that only when man is prepared to admit he may be wrong, does the path to wisdom open. Church leaders – correctly – saw this as an attack upon their authority and tried to prosecute Hume as a bad Christian; a mistake, since Hume merely said he wasn’t a Christian at all!

Hume was probably the first atheist to show that you can be a good and wise person without being influenced by any kind of deity, indeed, Adam Smith, his friend, said that Hume was as good and virtuous a man as it’s possible to be, given the frailties of the human condition.

By the mid 1700’s the influence of Hume, Smith and many others, had made Scotland the best educated country in the world at that time, the enlightenment was in full-swing. In the same period the great geologist James Hutton showed without doubt that the earth was much older than people thought, another severe blow for the kirk.

The influence of these men was the catalyst that caused Scots in the fields of mathematics, science, medicine, literature and engineering to rise to world-wide prominence. The number of scientific discoveries and inventions made during the Scottish enlightenment far outstrips that which may be expected from a nation with such a small population. To this day, Edinburgh is a world centre of medicine and biology.

Toward the end of his life, David Hume strongly supported the American rebels and originated the system of a federation of states with an elected president; exactly the system in use today.

So America, Hume initiated your governmental system and Adam Smith showed you how commerce works, you got a good start but you seem to have slipped somewhat. You’re allowing religious fanatics to infiltrate and subvert your constitution in furtherance of their deluded aims, you need a new home-grown Hume to stand up and show you the way to enlightenment once more.

I say you need to do this with some urgency; America is rapidly becoming a laughable but dangerous bully in the eyes of the rest of the world, somewhat like an unruly teenager who’s just found his dad’s gun. The other day, I saw a TV program featuring an American preacher who advocated execution for adulterers and homosexuals; this madman was serious.

How long will it be before rational, thinking persons in the USA – I know they exist, I’ve met many - put a stop to this dangerous trend? Your politicians are weak and must pander to the God-fanatics to obtain votes, it seems only a matter of time before the war mongering religites control your country and have their fingers on the nuclear trigger.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mugabe Madness

I see Zimbabwe is sinking at an increasing rate, supermarket shelves full of food that no-one can afford e.g. a chicken costs 1 million of their dollars! Millions of people were made homeless after the country’s despotic dictator Mugabe ordered the bulldozing of their homes.

We in the West did nothing even though we have known of the plight of these people for a long time. Mugabe is at least as bad a dictator as Saddam Hussein was, we “helped” the Iraqi’s, why don’t we help the Zimbabweans? The reason seems clear; they don’t meet the criteria we demand before we give aid, i.e. they have no oil or anything else that we want to steal or control.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Religion's Red Giant

An editorial in the publication “Science & Theology News” - strange bedfellows title; I think – slates Richard Dawkins for his recent TV program that highlighted a few of the evil deeds perpetrated these days in the name of religion. The writer seems to think that educated men like Dawkins should be more respectful to the faithful and their faith and refrain from treating them with ridicule. He also seems to agree with Ted Haggard (the maniacal-looking religious fanatic) that Dawkins was being arrogant.

Arrogant! What could be more arrogant than a fairy tale-believing religite who looks down upon those not of his delusion, and has the audacity to expect to be respected for his madness? For sheer arrogance beyond all measure, religious maniacs are without comparison!

I once had a girlfriend who tried to get me to study theology, five minutes later she was no longer my girlfriend. I asked her what use I could put theology to, what was there to learn? Apart from knowing the content of one book, how can the student be tested? How do you write a theological thesis? Theology, I said, was a nonsensical subject, if subject at all!

I agree entirely with Richard Dawkins; religion is not worthy of the respect some of us still give it. Ridiculing it – in my opinion – is perhaps not the right approach but it’s a lot more appropriate than respecting it!

Religion, and its’ current state, reminds me of the life of a star; a star in its red giant phase. Religion seems to be swelling as does a star in its final death throes before exploding and eventually shrinking to become a cold dead rock.

Let’s hope we can get through the red giant phase as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Odious Opponents

These days it’s commonplace to see adversarial positions against theories or stances, being taken by persons who have really nothing to say and have no alternative to offer, but who are evidently following some agenda, whether stated or not. These people know they cannot win the real argument so they try to damage the reputation or ridicule the author of the original material, in doing so they fail to see they’re simply highlighting their own defeat!

The other day I came across a ridiculous claim that Judge Jones who presided over the Dover ID case, had made a serious error because he hadn’t understood the science behind so-called Intelligent Design!

How daft can you get!

Judge Jones sensibly arrived at his decision against ID precisely because there is no science behind it; a fact obviously lost on the person who made that silly claim.

Evolution is under attack from people who say that the theory is wrong because they claim Darwin was a racist. What is wrong with these people? Whether Darwin was a racist or not has absolutely no impact upon evolutionary theory which is as well supported by evidence as the theory of gravity is; sane people accept both as fact. The theory depends upon evidence, not the character or beliefs of its originator!

Let’s study this nonsense for a moment.

In Einstein’s day smoking was fashionable, almost everyone did it, that situation is now reversed; should we then reject general and special relativity theory because Einstein was a smoker?

During the war, Alan Turing cracked the German Enigma cipher and saved countless lives, should we deny his computational and mathematical genius because he was homosexual?

Should we belittle the best music of Beethoven because it was written when he was deaf?

Should we decry Watson and Crick’s discovery of DNA because of their atheism?

(A quick aside here)

When Jim Watson was accused by a reporter of playing God, he gave the following reply:

“If I don’t play God, who will?”

A cracker, you have to admit!

I think most readers would say “no” to my questions but in spite of that people with agendas (usually religious) seem quite willing to make themselves appear silly by adopting this pathetic pose against well-founded principles and theories. I have in mind a perfect example.

There is a website, “Goodschools”; I think its name is. The author appears to have no agenda although his work reeks of Creationism; he just doesn’t have the balls to admit it.

This person attacks Darwin from a racist standpoint and tries to cover up by saying that evolution is “bad science” although he offers absolutely no evidence against it. He makes a stupid attack upon Richard Dawkins, calling him a “dinosaur” and saying his arguments are “weak”, again however, he is unable to present a sensible alternative. It’s abundantly clear that Dawkins atheism, not his expertise in evolution, is the reason behind this cowardly and pointless tirade.

As you may imagine, several people (myself included) have commented upon his site pointing out the obvious flaws in his argument, he seems to welcome this, not because he may learn something or even engage in healthy debate. No, all he wants to do is meticulously pick apart their statements, not the content – he can’t do that – but the way the statement is made! Yes, that’s right; if he can’t counter your argument he will simply try his best to give you an English lesson!

This man lists himself as a school of arts and science graduate but science is evidently not his forte, he doesn't even know what a theory is, he seems to think it's an idea; a mistake common amongst those ignorant of the scientific method.

His comments are peppered with [sic]’s throughout, this leads me to think he may be an English teacher, if so; he’s the worst English teacher I’ve ever come across. He seems not to know that the main point of language is to convey meaning and apparently believes that the mechanics of it, i.e. the spelling and grammar, are more important.

I conclude that this guy is simply a Creationist sans testicles and is also, well…sic, ’er…I mean sick!

Im resiting the urg to rite him agen becoz i don’t want to add fewl to his websight, id rather he reed this and koment heer.

Medical science has made great advances recently, but squashing that God virus…well, we’re still not there!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

What Can I Say?

Twice now, I’ve been sent the link below, once in response to an earlier blog post and recently from an American friend who thinks that education in the USA is at an all-time low.

After clicking the link you may agree with him…


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Evidence, Evidence, Evidence.

If you’re an educated, thinking person with an interest in the world you will I feel sure, be convinced that the Earth is around 4.5 billion years old. Because you are educated, you will have read about the age of the Earth and/or attended lectures by experts on the subject. No doubt the eminence of the speaker or author would have had some bearing upon the degree to which you were convinced, but it would not have been your sole criterion. You will have sought the opinions of other experts, you would have weighed one against the other to see how much agreement or contradiction was apparent, in short; you would have looked for evidence.

Evidence is the foundation upon which the legal systems of sane, free countries are based. Imagine a crazy place where convictions were handed down based purely upon eyewitness say-so; I certainly wouldn’t want to live there! We long ago learned that human beings can lie and are often mistaken; police forces know that eyewitness reports are notoriously unreliable, especially when a complex series of events is involved. That is why evidence is far and away the most important part of any legal system, if the evidence is not beyond doubt, the accused will be acquitted. The key to all this, is that the burden of proof lies with the law, the accused is not obliged to prove innocence, the law must prove guilt.

Evidence controls the belief systems of rational beings, any person or so-called authority no matter who or how important, making a claim unsupported by compelling, solid evidence, will have that claim rejected by any thinking person.

It needs repeating; the onus of proof lies with those making the claim. That really means that any claim failing the evidence test is virtually worthless.

It’s worth noting that there’s a whole host of things that have no supporting evidence whatever, not even bad evidence! These follies and sundry doctrines obviously cannot be tested, they are logically therefore, worse than useless! The late Carl Sagan is his book ‘The Demon Haunted World’, makes this point beautifully in the chapter entitled, ‘The Dragon In My Garage’

“‘What’s the difference?” he asks, “Between an invisible, incorporeal dragon breathing flames that can’t be seen, and no dragon at all?”

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the importance of evidence seems to be lost on most people. The media bombards us with lies, misleading advertising and diversions designed to prevent us seeing the truth. Politicians actively encourage us not to think so they can convince us in the absence of evidence, that their policies are correct.

The Iraq invasion is a perfect example of action being taken because of a claim, a claim with almost no supporting evidence, the claim was WMD, which of course, did not exist. But there’s something wrong here; either Bush and Blair are two of the dumbest politicians who ever lived (entirely possible) or they really believed that Saddam had WMD. In the first case, they’re really stupid because they didn’t even have a cover-up plan standing by for when their feeble reason was shown to be false. In the second case, they’re almost as stupid because they must have fallen for a load of bullshit spun by their lackeys and failed to look for the all-important evidence. Of course all the thinking people knew the real reason behind the invasion and even although a majority of us on both sides of the Atlantic were against the war, they went ahead anyway. Another perfect example, this time of undemocratic democracy, the people didn’t want it but the people were ignored.

History has shown that acting without evidence can have dire consequences, the WMD farce has cost thousands of lives but it won’t matter, we won’t learn any lessons from it. Iran or North Korea will be next, the political con-men are probably working on the scam right now, soon we’ll hear the tale and most will be frightened enough to fall for it. I say this because of evidence, the evidence shows that belief in nonsensical falsehood is growing, Christian fundamentalism, Islamic militancy, the New Age crap; all are examples of daft things with no supporting evidence that frightened people with dull, crappy lives are prepared to swallow.

I hope you can forgive my pessimistic stance, but you have to admit; it’s justified.

Holy Shit - Literally

I recently watched the TV show, Dispatches: The New Fundamentalists. It featured interviews with the religious fanatic Vardy himself and his Director of Schools, an idiot by the name of Nigel McQuoid. Vardy came across as an insincere, lying zealot – well, he is a used-car salesman – with an apparent political agenda. McQuoid however, left me aghast; in my opinion, a person stating his belief that God literally created the world in six days is a cretin who has disqualified himself from further conversation with a sane person, yet there he is, directing the schools.

I wouldn’t let McQuoid direct the education of a slug, let alone a human child.

The worst thing of course, is that all this has the backing and financial support - with your money but without your agreement - of the Blair government; it’s unforgivable.

The following things need to happen to prevent this country staggering down the disastrous path we’re being led.

  • Blair must be ejected from office before his dangerous religiosity can cause any more harm.

  • The government should give Vardy his money back just prior to kicking his used-car-selling-bible-thumping-arse out of education.

  • After regaining full state control of the schools, all Vardy puppet teachers - especially McQuoid – must be fired and replaced by sane secular educators following a sensible curriculum.

Perhaps we need some basic sanity testing for the office of PM, the ability to think rationally without religious bias may be a good start. We are rapidly catching up to the USA as the world’s most undemocratic democracy that’s carrying out a policy not supported by the people.

Most of the UK population (64%) are against the divisive, sectarian schools that fail the basic simple principle of all education, i.e. children must be taught how to think, not what to think. But of course the main aim of these religious freaks is not education, it’s indoctrination, they want to add fuel to the fire in a world already aflame with religion-driven violence that’s killing people daily.

It’s time for persons of clear-thinking non-biased rationality to unite and take a stand against these stupid policies, faith needs to be dumped and replaced by intellect if humanity is to progress further.

We think of ourselves as an intelligent species, some of us may be but clearly, our political leaders are not, how can they be? We evolved from slime into self-awareness then elect fools who support even greater fools who deny the process ever happened in the first place!

I ask you, how fucking intelligent is that?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Salvation Is Here

The words “saviour” and “salvation” have always puzzled me slightly, not what they mean of course, but the way we use them, almost always in a religious context. It does not have to be this way; a soccer player scoring a winning goal, a batsman scoring the winning run, a mother who snatches her child from the path of an oncoming vehicle; these persons could rightly be described as saviours, their deeds saved the team from defeat or the child from serious injury, possibly death. We describe such people, as “match-winners” or “heroes” but never as “saviours”, although that is what they are!

There is a breed of religious persons who seek and expect salvation, they rejoice perhaps, in being “born again” – personally, I’ve always felt I was born OK the first time – because they feel it improves their salvational chances. I’m puzzled because I don’t understand what they need to be saved from! Is it wild animals perhaps? The deeds of people following the rules of a different deity? Criminals? What?

Personally, I can think of many different dangerous things that I may need salvation from, but I don’t spend much time considering them because they are only possibilities. Death of course, is a certainty that no one can be saved from and so merits no consideration, when it happens it’s the end of me and of the world as far as I’m concerned.

When I consider the future of my species however, it’s a different matter. It is beyond doubt that one day all life on this planet will be extinguished, either by the death of our sun – arguably the real God who lives in the sky – or by some other cosmic catastrophe that could happen at any moment. To my mind we need to think about this certainty now, falling to our knees praying to some imaginary being for personal salvation is not just selfish; it’s downright counter-productive to humanity in general.

Unfortunately, we are a selfish species, we live in a ‘Fuck You I’m All Right Jack’ world, a faulty philosophy that may well hasten our path to extinction. People with this attitude are shortsighted and fail to realise that very few of us can live in this modern world without the support and assistance of others. In our distant past the FYIARJ attitude was probably the right one, basic survival was the name of the game and killing weaker competitors, the individual’s means of staying alive. This is Mother Nature’s way, she has no concept of a crime, and never punished anyone for staying alive by whatever means possible.

But we have moved on, thankfully, most would say and I agree, although the primitive FYIARJ lives on in most of us, it’s the cause of much strife and prevents us from doing that which obviously needs to be done if we are to have even a chance of a long-term future.

I suppose I could stop this post here, readers getting this far will probably guess what follows.

It’s pretty simple, we need to unite and pool the only resource we have that may give us that chance. The resource is knowledge, the knowledge we obtained by using the best tool we ever developed: science.

We need to stop lifting our eyes to the heavens for salvation, up there our nemesis lurks; our salvation is here on Earth, embodied in the members of our species who work to increase our knowledge. The problem is that not many of us recognise the saviours, indeed, many of those who pray for heavenly salvation actively seek to thwart the efforts of the only saviours they’re ever going to have, this strikes me as blind stupidity of the highest order.

So, look for the saviours, when one is found help him/her so that they are not financially dependant upon ignorant, short-sighted politicians with feeble FYIARJ-overloaded brains who want them to make weaponry that could result in our premature demise.

Science has always been a global enterprise, its very nature compels its practitioners to share results and have them verified by colleagues, governments trying to stop this international cooperation, have largely failed.

Therein lies our hope and possible salvation.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Prevent This Nonsense

To express their disapproval of the rise in state-funded schools based on religious sectarianism, some sane, clear thinking people in the UK have compiled a petition against this trend.

Please go here www.petitiononline.com/sects to read the petition and become a signatory if you agree with it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Just In Time

This is a lame post. I haven’t had much time this month but I can’t let February pass without adding something. I have a few things I want to say but they’ll have to wait until March.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Magnetic Madness

Magnetic bracelets, wristbands, insoles, neck braces and such, have been around for a long time now and people are still fooled into buying these products. Of course, they are just another example of quackery that seems all pervasive today.

My engineering/scientific training means that magnetism is a subject I know something about and I never could – and still can’t – see how any of these things could provide any health benefits. Well, now it seems like the British Medical Journal agrees with me; they have recently issued a statement indicating that so-called magnetic therapy has no proven results and that any healing effect is likely to be small. I think they are a little wrong, I would say that any healing effect is virtually certain to be non-existent!

As usual, the purveyors of magnetic medical trinkets make no attempt to explain – in technical terms that are not hilarious – how magnetism is beneficial, it’s just the same tired old message, don’t think, just believe…and buy! If you have bought, or are thinking of buying a magnetic miracle, try this small thought experiment first.

All the blood in your body has about enough iron in it to make a small nail; the iron is distributed evenly throughout. Now, just consider exactly what could be achieved by the (tiny) magnetic effect upon this iron? The answer is not much, indeed, nothing that you could possibly notice or measure. Always keep in mind the placebo effect and the fact that most ailments are self-limiting, e.g. if you catch cold and take no medication at all, the cold will most likely run it’s course and leave.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Book: The Demon Haunted World

This is the first of many book reviews I plan to write from time to time, my reviews will not be in-depth critiques of the work, just the reasons for my recommendations of it. I first read this book immediately after its first publication in 1997; it's been reviewed hundreds of times already, but since it’s the best book I’ve ever read and the current world needs its wisdom so badly, I’m going to plug it again.

I don’t care who you are, what you are or where you come from, you need to read this book. It could serve very well as the thinking person’s bible; it is Carl Sagan’s:

“The Demon Haunted World: Science As a Candle In The Dark”

Whatever you may think of Sagan as a person, no sane reader can deny the value of this book, it’s a veritable gold mine of information and good sense written in Sagan’s elegant style showing his masterly command of the English language. Because it’s written so well, it’s an easily read work that should be made required reading for secondary school children, perhaps they could convince their parents to read it as well!

Each chapter is a gem but two stand out for special mention these are; “The Dragon In My Garage” and “The Baloney Detection Kit”. If you’re not already a critical thinker, digesting these chapters alone will set you on the right path and you’ll never fall for bullshit again.

I repeat; buy it, borrow it, steal it, do whatever you need to do to get your hands on it, it’s a must have item.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I didn’t “discover” Noam Chomsky until I lived in the USA but that’s the only regret I have about him. Widely regarded as one of the greatest living intellectuals, the MIT Professor Of Linguistics has a remarkable ability to see the wood in spite of the trees. Chomsky must be the most painful thorn in the flesh Bush and his cronies have to suffer, and I shouldn’t be surprised if he was top of a CIA, people-to-assassinate-if-we-could-get-away-with-it hit list.

Of Jewish descent, Chomsky seems to be disliked mostly by his own compatriots, not surprising when you hear his (correct) analysis of the Arab-Israeli situation. When you listen to him talk you are struck by the simplicity of what he says that quite apart from being logical and verifiable, has that special “ring of truth” character about it that makes you realise that of course he’s correct but makes you also wonder why you never thought of it yourself! The lecture he gave a year ago at Edinburgh University made me think for days afterward.

If you are somewhat politically naïve – as I admit I was – then you should maybe give some time to Chomsky, there are lots of multi-media presentations and lectures by him on the Web, just type “Chomsky video” into Google and he’ll pop up everywhere.

You will also find plenty of anti-Chomsky material on the Web, some of it very well written, but well written garbage is still garbage and fools only those prone to being duped by intellectual impostures - a subject I plan to blog about very shortly.

Noam Chomsky is not a young man but I hope he lives a long time yet, the world will be a much worse place without him.

Heavens Above!

How many are there do you think? One, two, three or more? Perhaps even an infinite number of heavens! Let’s face it, we’ve had to put up with hundreds of gods throughout history and I’ve heard at least three of them reside up there somewhere. I can’t imagine only one heaven shared by all the gods, after all, given the degree of violence depicted and advocated in the guide books of the major religions, it seems logical to assume that warlike deities such as Jehovah and Allah would be at each others throats if they had to share a heaven!

I suppose, of course, they could divide heaven up with clearly defined borders but that too would pose problems of encroachment just like their followers down here perpetrate. In addition, given the screw-up record of the gods here, it seems inevitable that soul transportation errors would occur. Imagine spending all your life as a devout Christian only to end up in the Allah sector of heaven! What would the policy be? Would a soul have to stay in Allah heaven until a Muslim transit foul-up happened and then be traded at some heavenly version of Checkpoint Charlie?

I don’t know…it all seems a bit dubious to me, even if each god had his very own separate heaven, there’s only one Earth so the soul-transit problem would still exist. It’s all very confusing isn’t it?

You know what…to hell with it, I think I’ll stay here.

One Last Puff

As an ex-smoker, I fully support the smoking ban in all enclosed public spaces shortly to be enacted here in Scotland. Unfortunately, smokers will still be able to puff away outdoors so we’ll still see cigarette butts littering the entrances to shopping centres and other public facilities. In my opinion, that’s as bad as the smoke so I think the ban should be extended to any public place, period, and heavy fines imposed upon the “one last puff” brigade who foul the area.

Being honest with myself, I guess my support of the ban would be less strong if I still smoked but I would not rebel against it. The most striking thing I noticed after stopping smoking myself was how much smokers stink! I remember being in my local library when a one-last-puffer came and stood at the bookshelf beside me, he positively reeked and I had to walk away repulsed.

“Holy shit!” I said to myself, “did I smell like that?” - I suppose I must have.

One thing I will never do however, is look down upon people who smoke, or try to convince them to stop. I once got into a heated argument inside a restaurant in the USA with a woman who had the stupidity to tell me that only people of low intelligence were smokers! People who know me will guess what happened next; I destroyed her feeble argument with a list of the most intelligent people who had ever lived and were also smokers, being a dimwit though, she had probably never heard of most of them.

To all you smokers, I offer this small encouragement from personal experience.  I found the hardest thing to overcome when stopping was the fear that it would be difficult, once I’d beaten that the rest was easy. Be aware that the desire to smoke never entirely leaves you, but a short while after stopping, the desire is very weak and lasts only a second or two. At least that was my experience, for you it may differ.


I will not tell you of William Wallace, I will not regale you with a tale of nationalistic warlike fervour. I will tell you of a man nicknamed “Dafty”, and will regale you - just a little - with a tale of nationalistic intellectual fervour.

To be honest, I try not to be nationalistic because I feel that being so can be more harmful than helpful, but in this case I feel justified because poor old Dafty does not receive the recognition he deserves from his fellow countrymen. The nickname “Dafty” (for you non-Scots) is generally reserved for persons thought to be a little feeble-minded so our hero would not have been too happy about the boyhood name his school chums gave him.

Denigration of people whose behaviour is unusual seems to be a national characteristic of us Scots, especially among those from small towns who often have parochial and static attitudes, (this may also be true of other nations however). I well remember from my own schooldays more than one person who suffered that deprecating nickname, sometimes worse!

The unusual behaviour of this particular Dafty was to show a much higher interest than others in how things worked and the application of mathematics to the world around him. Fortunately for him and much more fortunately for us, the Edinburgh-born schoolboy grew up and the “Dafty” label rightly perished.

His name was James Clerk Maxwell, and he became one of the greatest scientists who ever lived.

In four of the greatest equations ever derived, Maxwell unified electricity, magnetism and light and was the first to realise that these were all manifestations of the same thing; we call that thing, electromagnetic radiation. Maxwell’s equations paved the way for the development of radio, TV, mobile phones and almost any electronic device you can think of. Sadly, today it is only students of physics and science in general who are aware of the tremendous contributions by Maxwell, of whom Albert Einstein once said:

“To few men in history has such an insight been vouchsafed”.

It probably never happened, but I harbour the slight hope that those who nicknamed Maxwell became aware of their folly in their lifetimes but if not, then perhaps they are rotating in their graves with egg on their faces! So I say to all you Scots; next time you settle down for a brain-numbing night of TV, spare a little thought for Dafty, who made it all possible.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Industry Of Deception

For a long time now, a multi billion-dollar/pound industry whose sole reason for existence is to dupe people into making mostly irrational financial decisions, has been growing steadily stronger. Personally, I find it difficult to imagine what it must be like to be an employee of this industry; people who spend their time bullshitting and lying their way through life at the behest and in the pay of, their corporate masters. Some people will do anything for money, I suppose.

A few of the leaders of this almost criminal enterprise are actually proud of their efforts at deception; they seem to think they’re being creative! Sadly, the reason for their continued expansion is the willingness of consumers to accept the bullshit and allow their thinking to be done for them. The great mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell, once said:

“People would rather die than think, and in fact they do so.”

This seems to be even truer today that it was when he first said it and this industry of deception called advertising, depends entirely upon this fact.

Imagine a world where we the consumers decided to think for ourselves and subjected products to properly conducted testing of their claims. Take anti-wrinkle skin creams aimed at aging ladies for example; testing would prove these products ineffective in their stated role. Vendors however, could simply re-label them as “brain cream” and then they may even pass tests, because there is little doubt that’s where they’re working!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Change Or Die

Change is a fundamental feature of nature, the Universe is expanding, evolution continues, the rule is simple: change or die. In spite of our own foolishness, in spite of religion’s attempt to control and hold us back, humankind has progressed and continues to progress. Unless we self-annihilate, this natural state of affairs will be the death of religion, it will die because it is static and must remain so.

The only way for any religion to live on is to change, it must meet the changing needs of its followers and keep pace with progress. Of course, this cannot happen because religious dogma would have to be altered, bibles and other guide books rewritten to be less fantastic and nonsensical, more in line with fact than fiction. For obvious reasons this will not happen and religion will therefore eventually die, a lingering death perhaps, but a certain one.

I will take some time yet – it’s been around a long time – but the signs are there already. Here in the UK, religion is virtually moribund among educated people; even young children are stating their non-belief.

Don’t be fooled by the apparent upsurge in fundamentalism in the USA, the president may be dumb enough to actually believe it, but most of his handlers and controllers will not, they know that it’s the correct political stance because it gives them “heavenly” control of the largely uneducated believers. In addition, religion helps enormously with the maintenance of the number one domestic policy rule, which is to keep the rich people happy and ensure that the poor people live in fear, either of a vengeful God or a bogeyman like Osama Bin Laden.

Frightened people are easily controlled and thinking about bogeymen keeps them from thinking about other issues the government don’t want them to consider. Creating something for the masses to fear has been a favourite diversionary tactic of power mongers and religious leaders through the ages.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dawkins Kicks Ass: Without Even Trying!

The first of a two-part series entitled “The Root of All Evil”; featuring Prof. Richard Dawkins was screened on Channel 4 (UK) on Monday night. No, it wasn’t about money, the “evil” referred to in this case, was religion. The hour-long episode subtitled “The God Delusion”, showed Dawkins travelling to the USA and the Middle East, the two worst hotbeds of religious strife in today’s faith-flummoxed world.

I had to admire his courage as the hugely-outnumbered Dawkins had to contend with the obvious hatred he faced from a Christian fanatic and a less fanatical but no less dangerous-looking Muslim zealot. In both cases the hatred – it seemed clear to me – was born of anger, anger they felt I think, because deep inside, these men knew their dogma was wrong and they had no recourse but to vent anger when faced with logic and reason. Both were perfect examples of a description written by Dawkins some time ago, i.e. religious fanatics cannot argue rationally, all they can do is resort to violence and often murder those who disagree with them.

Had this not been on TV, I think Dawkins might have feared for his life, the American evangelical, a character by the name of Pastor Ted Haggard, was a particularly nasty-looking specimen; this man’s eyes spoke of the probably murderous thoughts running through his God-virus-polluted brain. These fanatics didn’t even have the sense to see that they were making Richard Dawkins’ case for him! Dawkins could hardly get a word in but he didn’t need to, his reputation had preceded him and the “religites” just wanted to get angry with him so they could brag to their brainless brethren.

Sorry folks, to anyone but an idiot, the score line was a resounding:

Dawkins – 2, Religious Nutcases – 0

To a reader of Dawkins works, the story lines of the program was easily predictable (I even found myself prompting Richard’s next phrase from time to time) but nevertheless definitely achieved its purpose and made Christianity, Islam and to a lesser extent Judaism, look lame and foolish.

The next episode will feature Dawkins postulation that religion can be thought of as a “virus of the mind”, even though this idea is now well known; I still think it will be compelling viewing that any open-minded person will enjoy. I’m looking forward to it!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Game Over?

As a species, there can be little doubt that our technological advancement has outstripped our general wisdom and maturity. We have used our best tool, science, to furnish us with a comfortable lifestyle, gadgets galore and artefacts that our ancestors would have considered magical. The majority of us however, still believe in a supernatural deity of one kind or another who has the ability to intervene in our daily lives, watches everything we do and promises that if we’re good, the end is not the end. The fact that not one single instance of deity intervention of any kind has ever been proven, makes no difference to irrational believers.

In the past, this almost unbelievable situation didn’t matter much. If a God-befuddled, power-mad maniac managed to get control of a country, he could threaten his neighbours but that was about it, even the latest weaponry wasn’t powerful enough for him to become globally dangerous.

That situation has changed.

We already have a God-befuddled maniac in charge of the most powerful country on earth that does have globally destructive weaponry and a few more maniacs befuddled by a different God, who either already have or soon will have, similar weapons. For the first time in the history of humankind we have the capability of self-annihilation. It could be argued that things have been this way for fifty years now and we’re still here and that’s true, but up till now only the countries adhering to the Judeo-Christian God myth, or no God at all, have had the nasty weapons. During that fifty year period, - most people don’t know this - had it not been for the actions of a Russian naval officer, nuclear war would have begun between the USA and the USSR.

The significance of religious involvement in this close call is ominous and we have a lot to thank that – probably atheistic - Russian officer for. Can you trust Bush or Blair on the Christian side of a “God” war, or any leader on the Muslim side?

I can’t, and it prevents me seeing any kind of optimistic future.

Next time we may not be so lucky and that next time is coming soon. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but we are already involved in a God war, it has begun and it’s entirely possible that it will culminate in global nuclear devastation. It won’t be God or Allah’s doing; we will have allowed it; we will be culpable; we will have overridden Darwinism; we will have selected ourselves for extinction because of a fairy-tale.