F Rosa Rubicondior: February 2019

Saturday 23 February 2019

Unintelligent Design News - Zebras Winning The Arms Race

Grant's Zebra, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
© Muhammad Mahdi Karim
Published under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Source: Wikipedia
Why Do Zebras Have Stripes? Scientists Camouflaged Horses to Find Out - The New York Times

News this week that scientists believe they have explained the reason zebras look like they're living barcodes, is another major embarrassment for 'Intelligent Design' hoaxers.

It is also yet another casual vindication of the Theory of Evolution, done simply by revealing the truth. It's perhaps worth reiterating at this point that scientists don't set out to disprove creationism and confirm evolution - there would be absolutely no point in doing that yet again. They refute creationism and confirm the science simply by discovering the facts.

Friday 22 February 2019

Catholic Abuse News - Let The Blaming Begin

Pope Francis. "It's Satan's fault!"
Photo credit: Alessandra Tarantino/AP
Pope Calls Critics of the Catholic Church 'Friends of the Devil'

Speaking on the eve of the crisis meeting in the Vatican, called to decide what to do about the tsunami of complaints about predatory paedophile priests, the Pope has set the tone by reiterating what he said toward the end of last year. It's Satan's fault. The critics bringing the problem to the attention of the public are working for the Devil.

So, the solution is simple. Shame those who spill the beans! God is best served by covering up the problem.

Brexit Lies

Remember that promise of what we could do as a nation with all that money we would save if we left the EU? All those billions (or was it trillions) of pounds being wasted on Brussels Bureaucrats and needless regulations? Such a massive drain on our resources!

Remember the big red battle bus with its promise of £350 million a week extra for the NHS all from the Brexit Bonus we would save?

How different the facts are!

I got my tax summary for last year today. Here is how my tax, as a pensioner with an NHS former manager's pension, plus a state pension, plus a small income from my books sales, was spent. It contains an interesting breakdown of what my personal contribution to UK Government tax revenue was spent on so I can see exactly how much it costs me personally to be a citizen of the European Union, with all the privileges that gives me.

I've converted it to percentages of total contribution below, so this should represent the proportion of their tax paid by the average taxpayer that is spent on different things.

Thursday 21 February 2019

Catholic Abuse News - Only 300 Child-Abusers in Texas

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
"Sincere appology"
Catholic Church in Texas Names Nearly 300 Priests Accused of Sex Abuse - The New York Times

These almost daily tallies of the latest number of predatory paedophile Catholic priests in one American diocese after another is difficult to keep up with.

Almost unnoticed a few weeks ago, the fifteen Catholic diocese in the state of Texas collectively published a list of 300 priests against whom credible accusation of the sexual abuse of children have been made. It barely raised an eyebrow at the time, so inured have we become to the idea of Catholic priests being predatory paedophiles who casually abuse their power and privilege for their own gratification.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Catholic Abuse News - One Priest; 50 More Abused Children

Rev. Kenneth Bernard (Pius) Hendricks
Photo credit: NCRPO
Priest arrested anew for abusing 50 more victims, mostly altar boys | Inquirer.net

While excitement is centred on the American Catholic diocese currently scurrying to reveal lists of paedophile priests before formal criminal investigations begin, to see if any can top the record numbers of Los Angeles, Boston and Brooklyn, the events in the Philippines are going almost unnoticed.

As readers of this blog may recall, last December an American Catholic priest, a missionary working for the archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio by the name of Rev. Kenneth Bernard (Pius) Hendricks, was arrested and charged with the sexual abuse of two boys and was facing extradition to Ohio, USA, where he is also under investigation for similar crimes in the state. He had been arrested on a warrant issued by the United States District Court for Ohio on November 11, 2018 for "engaging in illicit sex with a minor in a foreign country."

Catholic Abuse News - 100 Brooklyn Paedophile Priests Named

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. "Truly sorry"
More Than 100 Priests Accused of Sex Abuse Are Named by Brooklyn Catholic Diocese - The New York Times

Something is causing deep concern to the Catholic hierarchy in the New York diocese of Brooklyn. They are desperately trying to distance themselves from the former routine procedure of cover-up and ignore and even facilitate, the treatment of vulnerable children as the sex toys of choice for Catholic priests.

As the investigations following the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report into the sexual abuses of children by Catholic priests and the ensuing cover-ups, gathers pace, the New York diocese of Brooklyn, which covers the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, has released the names of more than 100 priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

Monday 18 February 2019

Christian Insist on Her Right To Deny Rights to Others

Christian-Owned Tax Service in Indiana Won’t File Lesbian Couple’s Joint Return | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos

The latest example of a Christian demanding the right of decide what rights others should have comes to us from Russiaville, Indiana, USA, where Christians discriminating against victims of their choice is perfectly legal.

The Christian in question is Nancy Fivecoate, of Carter Tax Service with whom Bailey Brazzel had always had good, professional relations, having used her services for a number of years.

However, when Bailey and her newly married partner, Samantha requested help filing their joint tax return for the first time since getting married in July, Fivecoate refused, using her Christian faith as an excuse. In her words:

Thursday 14 February 2019

A Small Fish Refutes Religious Dogma

Blue streaked cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus)
Mirror test in Japanese study suggests self-awareness in fish, raising questions about animal intelligence | The Japan Times

It's been a long time now since we began to realise that humans are not the only intelligent species. Astonishingly though, we still find creationists and even sane mainstream Christians citing the 'uniqueness' of human intelligence and consciousness as evidence that humans were specially created, separate from other animals, so can't possibly share a common ancestor with them.

First, we discovered that chimpanzees could recognise themselves in a mirror, and Jane Goodall famously saw then fashioning tools from sticks. Hardly surprising given that they are our nearest evolutionary relatives. Over the years, more and more animals have been added to the list of intelligent, even tool-making species. The list now includes dolphins, elephants, different crow species, pigeons even ants, and manta rays have displayed unusual behaviour in front of mirrors.

Dolphins will even have sex in front of a mirror apparently for the fun of watching themselves do it, so there is no doubt that they recognise themselves and their partners.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Evolution Confirmed Without Even Trying Again

The human (left) and chimpanzee (right) brain organoids contain multiple types of neural stem cells (red and green) and mature brain cells (magenta and cyan), mimicking the development of real human and chimpanzee brains. (Scale bar 100 micrometers).

Credit: Pollen and Kriegstein Labs / UCSF
Chimpanzee 'mini-brains' hint at secrets of human evolution

Here's another one of those examples of where scientists don't set out to prove evolution and refute creationism, but they do anyway, quite incidentally, just by showing the facts.

They do it because the facts support evolution and so refute creation and any other wack-a-doodle rival notions about the diversity of living organisms from common origins. In this case, researchers were trying to explain what happened in human evolution that led to the increase in our brain size. This increase led to the evolution of the ability to learn and reason, to communicate and use language, and eventually to evolve group ethics and social systems. The rest is history, as they say.

Thursday 7 February 2019

Catholic Abuse News - Texas Abusers Named

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo,
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Hundreds of accused abusers named by Catholic leaders in Texas | NBC News via Associate Press.

According to Associated Press, the Catholic Church has released the names of 286 Catholic priests who have credibly been accused of the sexual abuse of children in Texas since 1950. Of these 286, 172 have since died.

This is the largest US state-based cohort of abusers since the 300 predatory priests named by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report last August, although this Pennsylvania tally is likely to be dwarfed by Illinois where the attorney general reported last month that at least 500 Catholic clergy has sexually abused children.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Catholic Abuse News - Pope Admits Clerical Abuse of Nuns

Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery - BBC News

The Pope has at last admitted what has long been known - that in addition to children and vulnerable adults, priests often use nuns for sexual gratification. In fact, of course, to a sexually abusive cleric, nuns are merely a sub-group of vulnerable people.

This admission was made to reporters during the Pope's recent visit to the Middle East when he admitted the Catholic Church has a general problem having its roots in 'seeing women as second class' - which of course fully accords with the treatment of women in the Bible and something taken for granted by the Christian church for centuries, until very recently.

The Catholic Women's section in L'Osservatore Romao (Women and Church) is even alleging that nuns have been forced to have abortions
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