July 27, 2008

A Whale Of A Tale

Great whale evolution video (only 7 minutes long).

The one thing I'm not sure of is the time line. When did the scientist community conclude that whales evolved from land animals. We've known about the vestigial hind limbs for quite some time, I thought. And we also know that all mammals trace back to a nocturnal shrew (weasel) like land animal that co-existed with dinosaurs.
I always thought it was a gimme.

What was really interesting in the following video, is the motion of water mammals versus the motion of fish. I never actually thought about the difference before.

Still, creationists keep denying reality, and will continue to do so, even after viewing documentaries like this. Just amazing.


Famous Catholic scientist Dr. Ken Miller also give creationists a boot in the head in this video:

July 23, 2008

Make A Monkey Understand Money, Prostitution Becomes Inevitable


This story is too funny to pass up, even though it is three years old, it is new to me.

Seven capuchin lab monkeys at Yale-New Haven Hospital were taught the concept of money (these monkeys lived in a commune of 750 square feet).
The "currency" used was a silver disc, one inch in diameter, with a hole in the middle. It took months for the monkeys to learn that the discs had exchangeable value.

Since capuchins are all about food and sex, but mostly food. The discs were used in exchange for treats.

The capuchins showed that they were risky gamblers, and had no interest in saving disks.

I'll just copy the article for the really good part:

Once, a capuchin in the testing chamber picked up an entire tray of tokens, flung them into the main chamber and then scurried in after them -- a combination jailbreak and bank heist -- which led to a chaotic scene in which the human researchers had to rush into the main chamber and offer food bribes for the tokens, a reinforcement that in effect encouraged more stealing.

Something else happened during that chaotic scene, something that convinced Chen of the monkeys' true grasp of money. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of money, after all, is its fungibility, the fact that it can be used to buy not just food but anything. During the chaos in the monkey cage, Chen saw something out of the corner of his eye that he would later try to play down but in his heart of hearts he knew to be true. What he witnessed was probably the first observed exchange of money for sex in the history of monkeykind. (Further proof that the monkeys truly understood money: the monkey who was paid for sex immediately traded the token in for a grape.)


I guess it is really just similar to just taking a woman out to real cheap place to eat before doing the nasty, except maybe to make it more similar, you give the date the money to pay for her meal. I know, it is reverse order to what happened in the lab, but it is all the same, when you think about it:)

Sex is worth a grape to female monkeys, but it is at least worth at least a two drink minimum to humans, so how could monkeys and and humans possibly share the same common ancestor?

I wonder how much a monkey charges for a half and half:) I figure it has to be something like two grapes.

Next time I have sex with my wife, I'm going to give her a grape, but I'm not going to explain why.

Note: Monkey branched off from the human evolution tree around 25 million years ago. Chimps and other non human great apes branched off between 5 to 7 million years ago, for those keeping score.

July 18, 2008

The Creationist's Nightmare: The Frogfish

I watched Nature on PBS yesterday and I saw an animal I don't remember ever seeing before....at least not in the last 15-20 years since I've been interested in evolutionary heritage.

Luckily enough, Youtube's Nature channel had the exact clip I was intrigued by (it is less than 2 minutes long). Besides the more common frogfish, included in the video is the batfish (now that is one weird looking fish):


It is pretty obvious that the frogfish wipes out a few of the old creationist rhetoric like "lets see fins evolve into feet." Another few more evolutionary steps and the frogfish could easily turn into an amphibian. Just give them a few million years and a dried up ocean bottom in their case (unlikely to happen though).

The frogfish really slaughters the micro/macro argument.

It is pretty clear as to why the frogfish have modified their fins in such a way. The purpose of life is to make sure the next generation makes it (tell that to a creationist and watch them turn blue). These fish have evolved to hang by rocks and the ocean floor as they must have an abundant food source there and a lack of predators helped by the fact they have evolved to use camouflage, not only to hide from prey but also to hide from the fish they prey on. And since ocean rocks tend to stay put, the fish don't need to travel much.

Is it me, or doesn't it look like the frogfish has 7 or eight toes on each fin that touches the ground?

And that batfish sure makes it look like God was in one of his comical moods when he created them. Maybe he was in a jolly mood when he decided to flood the earth and killing almost every animal on this planet:

Oh wait, God created batfish when he created every animal on the earth less than 10,000 years ago. It still looks like he has a kinky side. He gave the fish Kim Basinger lips complete with lipstick.

July 13, 2008

Morgentaler Poll Shows Me A Couple Of Things

Two thirds of Canadians think that abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler has the right to receive the Order of Canada.

The poll results put to rest two myths. One is that Canada is a conservative Christian nation. The other one has to do with morality.

According to Stats Can (2001), almost 73% of Canadians considered themselves to be Christian. Recently a poll estimated that now 21% of Canadians are atheists, so there is no doubt that the 73% number has dropped in the last five years. Lets say it dropped by 5%. OK, now we have 68% of Canadians considering themselves to be Christian.

65% of Canadians were for Morgentaler getting the Order. That means that at least 1/2 of the Christian population of Canada were for Morgentaler getting the Order.

It isn't a far stretch to state that at least one half of Christians are OK with women having the right to choose.

Yet many Canadian (mainly bible thumping Christians) call Morgentaler and murderer and consider abortion to be against the will of God, in other words; immoral.

Here is the thing. This proves that morality is completely subjective. Though many bible thumpers will say that it is 100% objective. The reality is that at least half of those who accept Jesus as their savior, do not believe that abortion is immoral.
In other words, what the bible says is in the eye of the beholder as far as interpretations go.

As an aside, the Morgentaler decision is another great step towards a totally secular Canada. Amen.

July 10, 2008

How Atheists View Christianity:)

A 33 second quickie. It will make you at least smile, unless you are an uppity Christian:

"Christianity is the belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie that is his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in all humanity because a rib-woman was convinced to eat from a magical tree by an infinitely sadistic being disguised as a talking snake with legs."

July 5, 2008

Was Moses Really Hammurabi?



Every time I start looking into the history of religion, especially Judaism and Christianity, I find things that make me more and more confident that real history and the OT and NT have barely met.

I always assumed Moses and Jesus were real people, and it was only around 5 years ago that I started to figure out they weren't. It was when Mel Gibson's Passion Of Christ was announced that I started innocently enough Googling for what Jesus looked like.

These searches led me to sites that questioned if a historical man named Jesus ever lived. I started looking into it deeper and basically found out that there was no contemporary evidence to prove Jesus' existence on this planet, and my current theory is that Paul or someone like Paul invented Jesus in a dream and over a few decades, Jesus evolved into a real living person with an actual human history. Scott Bidstrup has a great article on this subject, The Bible and Christianity: Historical Origins.

Shortly thereafter, I started to look into the Exodus. Of course, being an atheist I didn't buy into the plagues and miracles and talking bushes, but I always assumed there was historical evidence to substantiate Moses and a whole whack of Jews leaving Egypt.

The more I looked into it, the less evidence I found. What really opened my eyes to the history of Jews was the documentary on the book The Bible Unearthed. I've posted it here a few times, but here again is the link to the 10 part series (videos are around 9 minutes each).

No evidence of monotheism until around 700-800 BC, no evidence of a mass exodus, in fact there is evidence that nothing major happened and that Jews were an ethnicity long before they were a monotheistic religion. One could argue that Judaism did not begin until 450 BC.

Like Jesus Christ's story was based on myths like Dionysus, Moses' story had to be based on something too. Sure there were expulsions throughout the middle east, there were also many different beliefs in many different Gods and idols. But the idea of the 10 Commandments had to come from somewhere too.


A few days ago, I checked out the Blogging Tory Forum thread that led to my personal expulsion from the Forum, and someone had mentioned THE CODE OF HAMMURABI. Never heard of it before. I'm not a history scholar, I admit it. But if something interests me, I will put some time in to research it. This interested me.

I'm not going to get into a huge comparative discussion here, but I will provide links for those who wish to pursue the thoughts I have here.


One of the biggest arguments on the internet between atheist and theist is the idea that man has no basis to be moral without acknowledging God's laws. Of course, this is crap as we evolved "morality" and the idea of the social contract, and yes I admit that society also has an impact on human morality and a lot of that is based on societies who were led to believe they are acting in a way that was appealing to whatever God they believed in.

But if you look at the animal kingdom, you can see that social animals generally act "morally" at least within their own family or tribes. I've never seen a chimp read a bible, have you?

OK, sorry for going a little off tangent. Back to Hammurabi and his code/laws. To sum it up quickly, Hammurabi was a Babylonian King who lived around 1750 BC. He thought he had a direct line with his sun God.

He wrote down on tablets (that actually exist in the Louvre) over 200 laws. These laws, to me anyway resemble the 613 Mitzvohs that are followed in Judaism, especially the negative ones that don't involved worshiping God.

The Commandments/Code of Laws differ because they were written within different cultures. There is a much more hierarchical feeling in the Hammurabi code, because slaves were considered personal property back then and lesser human beings, if human at all. Not that it changed much by the time the 613 Mitvos were written (probably 1500 years plus later), it was just written by those who were more like slaves and according to their invented history, were slaves. I shouldn't say invented history, because there is evidence in many countries that semites were slaves.

In fact, the Hammurabi Code pretty much usurped the Sumerian Code which predated Hammurabi by at least 250 years. Interestingly, during that time the Sumerians were invaded by Semites, and even though Babylon became full of Semites, the culture really morphed into the same culture the Sumerians had.

I found this in my search. I figure I might as copy and paste it:

Mosaic Law and the Code of Hammurabi
This is not the only episode in the Moses chronicles that has been borrowed from Babylon. Everyone is familiar with Moses receiving the ten commandments in two stone tablets from God in Mount Sinai. However, this story is originally Babylonian.

One of the most well known ancient code of law was the Code of Hammurabi, so name after the Amorite king Hammurabi who lived around 1700 BC. On the great Babylonian stone monument, known as the stele of Hammurabi, a drawing inscribed on it shows the great Amorite King receiving the tablets of the law from the sun god, Shamash.

The similarity does not end here. On the stele too is inscribed the laws that made up the Code of Hammurabi. The general similarity between the code and The “Book of the Covenant” (Exodus chapters 21 to 23) and the legal codes of the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy cannot be denied. The Mosaic laws were obviously written under the influence of the Babylonian code. [3] In some cases even the wordings are uncannily close to one another. For example take this one from the code on the principle of an-eye-for-an-eye:

If a citizen shall put out the eye of another, then let his own eye be put out.
If a citizen shall knock out the teeth of another who is higher in rank, then let his own teeth be knocked out.

This closely parallel’s one of the Lord’s commands in Exodus:

Exodus 21:23-24
And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

Here is another example, the code gives the following principle:

If a citizen steals the son of another citizen, he shall be put to death.

The principle and wording is closely followed in the verse below from Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 24:7
If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel...then that thief shall die...
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Moses was Egyptian royalty according to religious history myth. Instead, Moses is based on Babylonian royalty. Makes sense to me.

The other thing is that the Hammurabi tablets still physically exist. Moses' 10 Commandments don't physically exist, and probably never did.

And lets not forget that Israel was invaded by the Babylonian empire just before, according to my theory, that Judaism was invented. The indigenous people of Israel were really screwed with by Nebuchadnezzar and company. But the Babylonian folklore must have stuck by the time Ezra created monotheistic Judaism.

Is it coincidence that invader Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned in the bible as an evil insane idol worshiper and a polytheist. Don't be like him, he is a bad man, he screwed with the Jews. No more idols, only one God, you Jews got it? Good. We can't be like our conquerers.

To end off, when someone says the West is based on Judeo-Christian values, that is not the whole story. It is based on the laws of a King In Babylon who thinks the God of the Sun inspired him to jot down common sense (at that time) that he usurped from the Sumerians.

July 1, 2008

If Sharia Law Comes To Canada, Blame Craig Smith And Those Who "Think" Like Him

I hadn't posted on the Blogging Tories Forums for quite some time. Probably since the provincial elections when I told everyone on that Forum that John Tory was going to lose, and why.
There are only a couple of members there that I can relate to, so I didn't feel like I was missing much.
I decided to go back to see if their reaction to keeping the Lord's Prayer in Provincial Legislature sessions. Since most members are uppity insecure Christians, I know they felt that it should be a gimme, but they were probably very pissed that other prayers are going to be read in rotation, including Islamic prayer.
I found nothing on it. I imagine their tails were tucked between their legs when the decision finally came out.
So I decided to spice things up and start a thread based on Pat Condell's newest Youtube video which explains why religious zealots who need to blur the line that separates church and state are the main reason why Islam is a threat to the Western world, and a threat to make serious changes in our Western culture.
I named the thread Is A Secular World A Sane World? (I know my answer, but I also kinda knew what the uppity Christians answers would be too).
I wound up lasting a day and a half before Forum admin baby Craig Smith (he is also co-founder of the Blogging Tories forum), took it upon himself to ban me once more. This time I won't try to get back in. Enough with his hypocritical arrogance.
For those interested, I will post the exchange between Craig and I. The whole thread can be found here.

Me: Pat Condell makes excellent points as to why Islam is a danger to the West. And I know many of the readers here, won't like them:



Craig: False presumption. He is assuming that we want to give broad religious freedom - I don't. I want Canada to be a Christian country. It is my believe that the purpose of a country is for people of shared values to reside in peace. That means that there should be atheist countries, Islamic countries, and Christian countries. I want Canada to be a Christian country.


Me: 1. You may want a theocracy. I don't. And a Christian country would be a theocracy, no different than what Saudi Arabia is by definition.
It really doesn't matter though. More and more Canadians are becoming atheist or agnostic every day as the internet is killing Christianity.

And when you say you want a Christian nation, do you mean Catholic nation? Protestant nation? Jehovah Witness nation? Mormon nation?

Last survey, 2. 23% of Canadians are atheist.
I still don't know what a Christian nation is though? Does that mean shops are closed on Sunday?


Craig: 1. Was Canada a theocracy 20 years ago when I said the lord's prayer in class after singing Oh Canada? Your comparison to Saudi Arabia is alarmist.

2. Good. So you remain a clear minority.
And a Christian nation includes all people who believe in Christ.

Me: I have no idea what you mean then by a Christian nation. I really don't.
There is a Catholic Lords Prayer that is different to the Protestant version. Which Lord's Prayer do you want?
And yes, there was a time when Jews couldn't get into certain clubs and even universities thanks to Canada's Christian status (back then it was pretty much just Catholics and Protestants who made up the rules). Is that alarmist?

Actually, Protestants who want Canada to be a Christian nation are in the minority.

And as far as Christianity and theocratic governments are concerned, lets look at Nazi Germany where the overwhelming majority of their population were Catholics taught that the Jews killed Jesus. It made physical attacks against Jews a much easier sell.


Craig: theatheistjew wrote:
There is a Catholic Lords Prayer that is different to the Protestant version. Which Lord's Prayer do you want?
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Why do you insist that there be just one prayer to our lord???

theatheistjew wrote:
And yes, there was a time when Jews couldn't get into certain clubs and even universities thanks to Canada's Christian status (back then it was pretty much just Catholics and Protestants who made up the rules). Is that alarmist?
****************************************
Comparing us to Saudi Arabia IS alarmist. Because you can cite a few examples doesn't make your comparison valid.

theatheistjew wrote:
And as far as Christianity and theocratic governments are concerned, lets look at Nazi Germany where the overwhelming majority of their population were Catholics taught that the Jews killed Jesus. It made physical attacks against Jews a much easier sell.
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Nazi German was anything but a theocracy. Your argument just became absurd.

Quotes from Hitler...

Quote:
"National Socialism and religion cannot exist together....

"The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity....

"Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things."

"Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure."

"The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity....
"Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse....

"...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little....
"Christianity the liar....

"We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State."

"The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity."

"Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery....

"When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease."

"There is something very unhealthy about Christianity."

Sounds like atheism is the real danger in terms of comparisons to Nazism.


Me: "Why do you insist that there be just one prayer to our lord???"
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Why not have hundreds then, and not even have kids learn anything in school or for government sessions to not get started until after lunch.
How many prayers to your Lord are performed in most public setting these days btw?

"Comparing us to Saudi Arabia IS alarmist. Because you can cite a few examples doesn't make your comparison valid."
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Prayer in public, intolerance towards homosexuals, favoring one religion over others...should I go on?

Hitler didn't like organized religion, but the Nazis and the rest of the German army embraced the Catholic God. They had something to do with God written on their belt buckles. Hardly atheistic. Hitler used the countries overwhelming majority of Catholics and played on it.
As for his personal beliefs, he felt that Aryans were a special creation of God. Again, this has nothing to do with atheism either.

For what it is worth OBL doesn't necessarily have to believe in Islam to use the Koran and its followers to blow themselves up. FYI, I do think that OBL is a believer.

It was the religious writings and interpretations that the Jews killed Jesus and all the rest of the stuff the Catholics used from the bible to make the Jew a villain that led to the German people accepting the atrocities committed on fellow human beings.

Again, you failed to define what exactly you mean by a Christian nation. Is it possible that you can define it for me. What would change that isn't happening right now, and what would you eliminate?

BTW, Craig, your admission of wanting Canada to be a Christian nation (whatever that means) has lost you pretty much any respect I had for you. I think it is very sad you "think" that way. I thought you were more progressive than that.

Regarding the German Armies belt buckles:
Gott mit uns (meaning God With Us) was the motto of the royal house of Prussia, and part of the military emblem of Prussia and later Germany.
During the Second World War, Wehrmacht soldiers wore this slogan on their belt buckles, as opposed to members of the Waffen SS, who wore the motto Meine Ehre hei├čt Treue (my honor is loyalty).

Craig: theatheistjew wrote:
BTW, Craig, your admission of wanting Canada to be a Christian nation (whatever that means) has lost you pretty much any respect I had for you. I think it is very sad you "think" that way. I thought you were more progressive than that.
*****************************************
How arrogant of you to think that I care about how you think of me. Arrogance is a trademark of atheists.

theatheistjew wrote:
intolerance towards homosexuals
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Intolerance towards homosexuality.

theatheistjew wrote:
favoring one religion over others...should I go on?
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Not letting women drive or laugh in public. Not allowing women to sing music. Hmmm - so similar!!!

theatheistjew wrote:
Hitler didn't like organized religion, but the Nazis and the rest of the German army embraced the Catholic God. They had something to do with God written on their belt buckles. Hardly atheistic. Hitler used the countries overwhelming majority of Catholics and played on it.
*************************************
That's quite a stretch.

theatheistjew wrote:
It was the religious writings and interpretations that the Jews killed Jesus and all the rest of the stuff the Catholics used from the bible to make the Jew a villain that led to the German people accepting the atrocities committed on fellow human beings.
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And it took how many other CHRISTIAN countries to stop Hitler? LOL - this is too easy.

theatheistjew wrote:
Again, you failed to define what exactly you mean by a Christian nation. Is it possible that you can define it for me. What would change that isn't happening right now, and what would you eliminate?
***************************************
I want to live in a country with people who share my values. Sharia law is not consistent with my values. We still are a Christian country. We are not far from where I want this country to be. I just need to stop people like you from changing it.

Me: Craig wrote: How arrogant of you to think that I care about how you think of me. Arrogance is a trademark of atheists.
**************************************************
It is obvious to anyone here that I didn't think you care. I put out that statement for the rest of the board to see.
Arrogance:P
Christians who want a Christian nation are nothing but insecure control freaks. I still don't see a definition of what a Christian nation is though Craig.
Since you are the one who mentioned you want one, what exactly is it you want?

Craig wrote: That's quite a stretch.
And it took how many other CHRISTIAN countries to stop Hitler? LOL - this is too easy.
I want to live in a country with people who share my values. Sharia law is not consistent with my values. We still are a Christian country. We are not far from where I want this country to be. I just need to stop people like you from changing it.
********************************************************
Sharia law or any religious law that discriminates and makes it through the courts is not consistent with my values.
We are not a Christian country. Well, I don't really know what your idea of a Christian country is because you refuse to define it.
The changes made are for the better. Jews are allowed to go to any university they choose to now, for example. Check out Monte Hall's story about not being allowed to go to certain universities because he was a Jew, and check out the old signs that used to be on Toronto beaches "no dogs or Jews allowed"
Is that your idea of a Christian nation. I spit on it.

What Christian countries stopped Hitler? The founders of the USA didn't want to favour any religion contrary to what apologists state.
Were the Russians a Christian state? They stopped Hitler too. The bottom line was that it was easy to sell the idea that Jews needed to go to a country the had an overwhelming majority of Catholics.

I'd like to know what good things I'm trying to change.


Craig: theatheistjew wrote:
Well, I don't really know what your idea of a Christian country is because you refuse to define it.
*********************************
Canada 50 years ago.

theatheistjew wrote:
Is that your idea of a Christian nation. I spit on it.
*************************************
My grandfather spent six years fighting Nazism during the second world war. I spit on you and your selfish attitude.

theatheistjew wrote:
What Christian countries stopped Hitler? The founders of the USA didn't want to favour any religion contrary to what apologists state.
***************************************
Canada, the USA, England, Australia were all just as Christian as you contend Germany was.

theatheistjew wrote:
Were the Russians a Christian state?
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Forced atheism. Nobody can be sure just how Christian they were.

theatheistjew wrote:
The bottom line was that it was easy to sell the idea that Jews needed to go to a country the had an overwhelming majority of Catholics.
*********************************
No - the bottom line is that millions of Christians died trying to save the Jews during WWII and you seek to demonize Christians because of a few signs on beeches.

theatheistjew wrote:
The reason Muslim prayer is now in the government is because of "thinkers" like Craig who need the Lords Prayer on tax payer dollars, so that he can beat his chest that this is a Christian nation Rolling Eyes
As far as the country that I want. It is pretty close to what we have or are about to have once we get rid of the whining religionists.
*******************************************
Lose the attitude jackass or get lost.

This isn't "raving atheists" - or whatever that cesspool forum is called.


I replied back with something like "you are a control freak because you want a Christian country and you are now using your power to ban me, like you did a year ago or so. I called him a jackass, and told him to ban me for calling him one. Since I got banned last time for calling another member names. Also, if Sharia Law comes to Canada, blame yourself and your ilk for trying to keep religion in the government."

That wasn't exactly what I said, I just can't remember my exact wording. Craig deleted the post. I guess he figured that Jesus would have deleted the post and banned me too:)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA

I hope this isn't the last year that Canada is free of Sharia Law, but if it is, we have Craig Smith and company to blame.


BTW, I emailed Craig after I got banned, and told him to grow up among a few other things.

He said I lead a hateful life.

I think the irony of his statement is lost on him.

I also noted that there is hardly any action on that Forum anymore. Very few posts by very few members. I livened things up for a day and a half at least. Craig should close the Forum that he has destroyed by being such a control freak.

If you want to see whining religionists in action though, they are really crying about the news that abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler is to receive the Order of Canada.

Canada a Christian country? My ass. Jesus must be rolling around in his grave:)