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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

SUBTLE SLAMS

 

It may not be a full frontal assault yet, but you are under attack. It may not even be a conscious decision by your theist family and friends, but there is a whispered conversation taking place. A conversation that excludes and demeans your thoughts.

Take for example the following: 

This week I am the bad guy. Actually, at this time of year, I'm the bad guy every fucking day. I get tired of religious bullshit assaulting my senses daily and am prone to take a stand. A portion of my family is in an uproar, I am persona non-gratis. Tempers have flared, verbal smack downs have been issued. The glove has been dropped by loved ones now lost, oh ye of little faith. The steps are being walked, the pistols loaded; death to anyone who would dare to offer an opinion that conflicts with this country's glamorous addiction to religion.

Some have to take themselves seriously, since anyone who opens their eyes once in awhile will not participate. At times, drama is all there is for the willfully ignorant.

A family member posted an image that she thought was honoring veterans. I looked at it and decided it slammed atheists that served in the military, so I left a comment. Always the same; we can to a certain point joke and tease, learn and teach, unless fantasy is the subject. I was lambasted for deciphering the anti-atheist code.

Now that we are firmly entrenched as a warrior country, when something pertaining to the military is discussed, we're supposed to jump up and salute. Americans are in a jam, hating war yet afraid to denigrate the soldier. The Vietnam backlash is so ingrained in our culture, that clarifying a thought about patriotism is not only unwanted, but an affront to all. Minds that babble bullshit will not be corrected; ever.

To frame the discussion properly, I do
have Vietnam vets in the family. I've heard the horror stories of their time in Vietnam and I know how they were treated when they returned. It is not their fault that our government went to war.

The person(s) that are upset with me are one of those vet's offspring. They post fairly constant memes that honor vets since they are proud of their father's service. Not a problem. Though I do not agree with the warrior culture, I understand. I have great respect for the gentleman, even though I disagree with almost everything that he says. Conservative christian of the Limbaugh type; you can smell the hate that oozes out of his enraged pores when he gets worked up about those traitorous liberals, and amusingly, any conservative that would work with them. He is the poster boy for the Tea Party, it's my way or the highway.

We don't talk politics, pretty much pointless.

Being a white male in a country that continually finds a part of the populace to oppress, the atheist putdowns catch me by surprise. Not the in your face slams, I can handle confrontations, but the sneaky little messages that are spread around by an unknowing or uncaring populace are starting to aggravate. I understand the message even if they don't.

My horrible comment on the cartoon in question was very relaxed. I only made the point that whether correct or not, some people find the pledge of allegiance to be a separation of church and state issue. Nothing more. Didn't get excited, it is after all, family. After my comment I was verbally smacked down for my audacity to start a conversation. I could tell that I had grievously offended the family member in question, so I removed my comment and apologized. I thought possibly the longwinded bitching by someone who doesn't understand how social networks operate would disappear, but it didn't. After a day or so I removed my apology as well; kiss my ass. Go ahead, post another atheist slam and see where it gets you.

Tis the season of course. I open up an email yesterday from another family member, who is closely related to the conservative faction of the family, that contains fantasy. Father from heaven coming down and saving their children nonsense. Of course, cannot ignore. I take it easy and replied, "look at this, a fairy tale in my mailbox." Nothing too dramatic.

I was informed that the email was intended for my wife. Guess they are still hoping she can be turned back to the nonsense.

My point is that as atheists, we are continually slammed by the theist community. They see absolutely nothing wrong in promoting their religion; in fact it's their right to brainwash the world. But don't dare promote reality since for a theist, reality is not only abhorrent, but is also a dire insult.

Now I'm not in any way comparing atheists and atheism to the denigration of those not white, or those that prefer their own gender as mates, or even the battles that women still are fighting; not yet anyway. Atheism, though targeted by the religious, hasn't seemed to be a problem that directly effects how this guy lives; but it's coming. It's been coming since the religious right took over conservative politics, and soon we will be the hot topic.

The battles that groups have had to wage to be included in American society will be our battles. You think atheism is frowned upon now, wait until the national debate centers around us as it has on women's rights, or any other battle for equal rights. Whenever one battle is won in the equal rights arena, another one will rise. It's coming to a town near you soon. We've been quiet and unobtrusive like other groups in the past. Everyone has been ignoring us. Now with the dawn of in your face atheism, I think that public attention is turning our way. It has always been there, but wait until you are the national topic.

It will be great fun.

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A Stanford professor's saying "We live in a world of radical ignorance" does not by itself support a hypothesis that we live in a world of radical ignorance.

It along with certain other information might support a hypothesis that said professor has reached the age at which old folks tend to complain about young folks.

Or with further information it might support various other hypotheses, such as:

1) too few people are enrolling in the professor's classes,or

2) those who are enrolled in his classes are not making the effort he wants.

doone, you've started me to thinking.

From Kevin Drum

Here's How Better Communication Created Modern Life

| Mon Jan. 11, 2016 3:07 PM EST

Cells are amazing—and amazingly complex—little micro-factories. So complex, in fact, that it took longer for eukaryotic cells to evolve—a billion years, at least—than it did for the first multicellular creature to evolve into you and me—around 700 million years.

So how did single-celled critters first join together, anyway? The Washington Postreports today on a new discovery that might explain the ancient origin of multicellular organisms that eventually became Homo sapiens. It comes from a team of researchers at the University of Oregon. One of the co-authors is Ken Prehoda, a biochemist:

The discovery was made thanks to choanoflagellates — tiny balloon-shaped creatures that are our closest living unicellular cousins....They’re single-celled organisms, but they occasionally work together in groups, swimming into a cluster with their flagella (tails) pointing outward like the rays of a sun. At the most basic level, this coordination helps the choanoflagellates eat certain kinds of food. But it’s also an example of individual cells coming together to work as one unit, kind of like — hey! — a multi-cellular organism.

Prehoda and his colleagues began to look into what genes could be responsible for allowing the choanoflagellates to work together. “We were expecting many genes to be involved, working together in certain ways, because [the jump to multi-cellularity] seems like a really difficult thing to do,” he said.

But it turned out that only one was needed: A single mutation that repurposed a certain type of protein [so that it] could communicate with and bind to other proteins, a useful skill for cells that have decided to trade the rugged individualist life for the collaboration of a group....Every example of cells collaborating that has arisen since — from the trilobites of 500 million years ago to the dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and you — probably relied on it or some other similar mutation.

One little mutation, and single cells in a swarm could communicate slightly better than before. This presumably allowed better coordination, and thus more access to food and a better chance of survival. Or, if you prefer your science a little less comprehensible: "A molecular complex scaffolded by the GK protein-interaction domain (GKPID) mediates spindle orientation in diverse animal taxa by linking microtubule motor proteins to a marker protein on the cell cortex localized by external cues....The evolution of GKPID’s capacity to bind the cortical marker protein can be recapitulated by reintroducing a single historical substitution into the reconstructed ancestral GKPID."

Thanks, GKPID! You don't get all the credit (or blame) for the evolution of us humans, but without your willingness to try new things and share your feelings with your fellow proteins, we probably wouldn't be around today.

Somewhere in all that goo, is there a god who needs worshippers?

Our Communicationg GKPID is better than an old Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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