Friday, 30 November 2007

Jehovas Witless

I apologise for double posting but...
Another one bites the dust.

Only this time a 14 year old has been indoctrinated to the point of killing himself. And a whole range of adults were complicit in it too. Particularly the friendly relative who convinced him of this bullshit, and to a lesser extent the judge who granted him the right to decide to die from something he had a good chance of surviving.

You want to know why?

"...No soul of you shall eat blood... whosoever eateth it shall be cut off"
-Leviticus 17: 12-14

Yeah, becuase the current method of transfusing blood is to give it you in a pint glass and say "bottom's up!"

Homeopathy is a Bunch of Crap

It had to come at some point. The anger has been simmering away (in a purely metaphorical way) for some time now. And the straw that broke the simmering camel's back? Well, it was the Guardian, last bastion of esoteric spelling in a world of computers that it is.

First we had Jeanette Winterson prattling on about how homeopathy works, which is utter rubbish, and then we had a spirited defence of it from a Denis MacEoin. This is starting to get tiring and I'm increasingly annoyed with the media rushing to present an illusion of balance where there is none. In order to maintain this balance they did publish a rebuttal from Ben Goldacre so it's not all bad.

Homeopathy is a load of rubbish. There, I said it. It's water you morons! It doesn't remember what you put in it and subsequently diluted out of it. It is H2O, billions of molecules constantly moving about with no way in which to store a "memory" or "form" of its solutes, former or current.

The evidence is clear on this one. Properly run, objectively analysed, peer-reviewed studies have shown that the effect of homeopathy is no more than that of a placebo. In addition, trained homeopaths cannot tell the difference between water and one of their remedies without reading the label! Please can we just tell the crystal-wavers, the psychics, the creationists and the homeopaths where to go? It's all nonsense. Convincingly peddled nonsense but nonsense nonetheless.

In fact, homeopathy can kill. When substituted for genuine, proven medical procedures it can result in horrific tragedies. As a complementary treatments it takes credit for the effect of drugs and used in place of medical treatment it can lead to deaths. This all leads me to wonder why the NHS funds 5 homeopathic hospitals. That's right, taxpayers money in the UK is spent on quacks who are at best misguided and at worst dangerous charlatans.

Because, when it comes down to it, if you're a homeopath I have one simple question for you:

Which kind are you? The liar or the idiot?

There is no middle ground. Either you genuinely believe what you're peddling, in which case go learn about science and stop pushing things you clearly don't understand (nobody can understand it what with its being made up!) or you know it's a load of rubbish and you seek to profit from others' gullibility. It may sound unfair but it's not. I, unlike the media at present, do not intend to peddle a false debate where there is none.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Best Argument for God's Existence Ever!

Time and again I find that the funniest things on the internet are published by the pro-religion crowd on the Guardian's Comment is Free page. Apparently this time, the reason to believe in God is as a kind of untouchable hobby, something nobody can stop you doing if you want some relaxing time alone.
I'm quite in favour of the general idea that we could manage to slow down the pace of the modern workplace a little without losing a huge amount. We could do with a little extra holiday time or more flexible hours, especially in the more stressful jobs. (As a point of order I'm not including advertising executive, middle-manglement or other pretend jobs here.)
So, pack away all of your rational arguments for the non-existence of God, ladies and gentlemen! We should join the ranks of the faithful and get a little more 'me' time. Apart from that time spent in church listening to the pious man drone on about 2,000 year old fairy stories on the only reliable day off you get in a week of course.

Monday, 26 November 2007

The First Post and Guess What? It's a Rant.

I'm not much for introductions, so I'm just going to dive right in.

So, there I was quietly going about my business of reading the news websites, gradually coming closer to the over-optimistic conclusion that perhaps nothing really stupid would be reported today. Perhaps I could spend a day not worked up into a near-maniacal frenzy, ready to chew the arms off my chair in frustration? Just one free day? Because I can't not go and look. It's a moth-flame scenario. My only way out is for the whole world to conspire to be rational for a day.

So, I found this on the BBC News website. And I read it, and I can't have been paying attention because I got to the end and did a very realistic Scooby Doo double-take. I'd like to say I said "Zoinks!" but I lack the self control for such self-censorship. So, basically, a woman is likely to be sent to prison or whipped bloody because she allowed her school-pupils to name a teddy bear Muhammad in Sudan (As in the teddy is in Sudan, it's not a surname, that'd just be silly). Let's take a moment and remember that Muhammad is about the most common name in any Muslim society. It's OK for mummy's ungrateful delinquent snot of a child to be named after the prophet but when it's a stuffed animal it's time to bring the law in and apply brutal corporal punishment.

Great. And there are quite a few countries with similar systems of Islamic law with whom western governments deal on a regular basis, apparently not batting an eyelid at torture, excused only by the flimsiest of excuses. Not that there are many convincing excuses for torture.

I'm the first to admit that the UK doesn't have an untarnished record so far as human rights are concerned, but seriously. Even looking down from the lofty heights of mediocrity, this whole thing is inexcusably, primitively, barbarically stupid.