May 24, 2016

Skepticism in Action

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Regular readers of my Weblogs know full well that I believe in healthy skepticism, as it helps us obtain adequate information instead of accepting unsubstantiated claims. Were those ads really rejected for inclusion in a Super Bowl broadcast? Maybe, maybe not. But it's not exactly a serious claim that can change your life, is it? 

Fact-checking comes to the forefront when something is on the fantastic side. I've come to expect atheists and evolutionists to believe and pass along negativity when it comes to Christians and creationists, but it really burns my prairie schooner when Christians embarrass themselves (and other Christians) by neglecting to do a bit of fact-checking before passing along wild stories. Some even pass along material from parody sites without checking the sources. This child believes in asking questions and getting details.

The end of the world is a good example.

People need to use healthy skepticism and fact-checking before passing along sensational (and sometimes defamatory) stories. Let's not "think" with our emotions.
Image credit: NASA Goddard
Ready to head for the hills? "RUSSIA WARNS: Asteroid Impact in Atlantic Ocean". Really, Russia is giving the warning? I'd like to know where American scientists as well as those in other parts of the world stand on this. Tom Lupshu apparently is the author of this piece. "Russian Military Operatives who have family in the United States have warned of an upcoming event of a large Asteroid that is being tracked by their missle defense systems." Really, Tom? I reckon many of us would like to know which military operatives, and how you know about it.

"This Near Earth Object is arriving along with the Meteor Debris field expected to impact FEMA Region Three." You're not telling us where FEMA Region Three is, which would be nice. Let me help: this region is on the Eastern coast of the United States. It wasn't hard to look up.

"Russia Warns that this Large Asteroid will Impact in the Atlantic Ocean. This will be a Global Incident. This event will change life on this planet as we know it. Good Luck to you and your Family." Which is it, global or just a few states? It's followed by a strange video and a link telling us, "Emigrate while you still can", which is selling stuff.

Remember, this threat is imminent, so a global disaster could happen at any time, say the unnamed sources. When was the article written? It doesn't say. A bit of investigation shows that comments are at least two years old, and the video was conveniently date stamped by YouTube as December 22, 2013. The world ended, and I missed it. Bummer.

Wait, there's more!

"Asteroid Warning: Govt Preps Underground Bases". The subheading is, "NASA warned in 2010 of an asteroid on a trajectory to hit off of Puerto Rico, causing a massive tsunami". So, we've been warned. Who warned NASA? In the mishmash of data about asteroids, near-misses, we don't really know when it's a-comin', but it's a-comin' soon, according to this January 12, 2015 article. Then they linked to that weird video from the previous post.

The site also had a source in Rev. Efrain Rodriguez. "Rodriquez is not an astronomer who studies celestial bodies such as black holes, moons, planets, stars, asteroids, comets, nebulae and galaxies but he is a prophet who preaches the word of God and has a message from God. Yes, you read it correctly. Rev. Rodriquez said that he has a message from God that will make you sit up in your seat and maybe even fall on your knees." Well, there you go! Wait,who? And he has a personal revelation from God? Not hardly! Too many Christians fall for this "God spoke to me and gave me a message" nonsense that is unbiblical, but to use this kind of false prophesy stuff to bolster "science" about an asteroid impact is beyond the pale.

Now, I detest the genetic fallacy (rejecting information out of hand because someone doesn't like where information originates, which is a favorite tactic of atheists), but it can be valid when a source is suspicious. The two linked above were from sites that claim to have inside knowledge about conspiracies, survival in disasters (often with links to buy stuff), and "nobody else is telling you the truth". Does the source's origin automatically mean it's wrong? No, but material should have further investigation from more reliable sources.

“We rarely think people have good sense
unless they agree with us.”
― François de La Rochefoucauld

Closer to home, I've seen people united in both hate and admiration. Some will accept the words of another as truth, but the "truth" may need checking. Atheists have lied about me, and their supporters have gleefully believed the negative reports (including a false Christian hiding behind a fake name because he claims creationists are out to kill him!) The opposite is true. Rev. Guy I. Admire said something that fits someone's paradigm, so it gets passed along. In fact, I've heard some really great comments in lectures and such, but since I could not verify them, I did not use them in posts and articles. Unfortunately, I've slipped up, and the embarrassing experiences have helped me be more careful. 

Just recently, I made a comment on a post that was destroying the bad reasoning of a pro-abortionist who pretended to be pro-life. The pro-abortionist was not named in the post. Later, I received a message from someone who claimed to be the "victim" of that post, he was horribly misrepresented by the Christian who runs that Page, and so on. All I had to go on was what I read, and my belief that the Page owner (who probably was the Admin who wrote the post) would be a fair dealer. Screenshots? Nothing from the one complaining to me, and no screenshot on the post. It would be a bit of exciting, sensationalistic news to spread this, "Hey, this guy wronged someone" news, but since nothing could be substantiated either way, I didn't take it further. But I did remove my comment on that post, since I was uncomfortable with the doubt.

From a different angle, I was telling a co-worker about a criminal Internet stalker who constantly calls me a liar (being unwilling to accept the difference between dishonesty and disagreement about scientific evidence). She looked surprised and said, "You don't lie!" What if I used her as a sort of character reference? People would be correct in being skeptical, and wanting to know how well she knows me (not that well).

On a television interview show, the guest made a remark that Intelligent Design is simply a way to sneak religion into schools. The host accepted that lie and opposed ID as well, but he didn't bother to do any investigation about what the ID movement actually teaches. 
One common thread in these things that I've noticed is that people "think" with their emotions, and get excited about passing along information that catches their fancies. I'm simply calling for a bit of caution and verification. There are times when we can overdo it. If you want to watch a video collection of ads that were rejected for the Super Bowl, fine, watch it and have fun if you're into that. No need to be contacting the producers and demanding the rejection paperwork as far as I can see. It's the more serious stuff that needs more care.

May 17, 2016

Atheism, Morality, and the Rise of the "Nones"

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Despite claims of professing atheists that their worldview is dramatically increasing in followers, they only account for 3.1 percent of the population in the United States in 2014, with 4.0 percent claiming to be agnostic. There is an increase in the "nones", people who claim no particular affiliation. (Globally, Christianity is on the rise, especially in countries where Christians are actively persecuted.) Some atheists consider the "nones" to be a victory for atheism. Not so fast, Freddie.

There are people who are unaffiliated with a particular religious organization, but that does not mean that they have renounced their faith and embraced the irrational religion of atheism. It does mean, however, that people are not joining up with churches, or are even leaving them because they don't like what their church teaches. In my case, I was raised in the liberal United Methodist Church, but that outfit chose to ride the Owlhoot Trail long ago, and has been going steadily downhill. Even my father who was a pastor there would not like the changes that are happening there now. (My beliefs are closest to Southern Baptist.) Some people have a difficult time finding a body of believers that is not emotionally-driven or apostate in other ways, so that doesn't mean the statistics support a pretended increase in atheism. For that matter, it seems that there are people who realize that "cultural Christianity" (being in a non-Hindu, non-Mohammedan, or non-whatever country makes one a Christian by default) is inaccurate, so they choose "no affiliation" on surveys, you savvy?

People who ride for the atheist brand claim to have a higher ability to reason than Christians, which is ridiculous from the outset. Aside from observations of the behavior of militant Internet atheists, a study shows that atheists use less brain function than Christians, and another shows that they're more likely to indulge in irrational, superstitious behavior. When reading and hearing news reports, it seems that professing atheists are in favor of things that Bible-believing Christians oppose: persecution of Christians, abortion, homosexuality, transsexual behavior — indeed, atheism is rooted in selfishness, just like LaVey's version of Satanism. Not only do atheists have a faulty moral compass, their reasoning skills are sorely lacking. I reckon this supports Psalm 119:130, Proverbs 1:7, Jude 1:17-18, Psalm 53:1, 2 Peter 3:3-7, and other verses. One part of the problem is that they hate God and rely on materialism, denying the spiritual aspect of our being.

Surveys show an increase in the "no affiliation" crowd, which pleases atheists, and a study claims that morality stays the same even though religion is declining. The survey has faulty interpretations, and the study is deceptive.

I frequently encounter professing atheists to claim to have a high moral ground than Christians because of the money some preachers make. They are guilty of hasty generalizations on this, as well as double standards. 

Flock-fleecers posing as Christian ministers get stinking rich. Reports on income and net worth vary depending on which site you visit, showing people like Kenneth Copeland owning a huge mansion, private jet, personal airport, and making tens of millions of dollars. Is it more than a coincidence that the "pastors" who were under federal investigation were almost exclusively of the "charismatic" appeal-to-emotion gang? Yet so many times, we see comments from angry atheists as if those were typical Christian pastors, which is an example of over-generalization. Most pastors have serious financial challenges themselves, old son. Anti-creationists like to bash Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and say how his organization "makes" millions of dollars. Some even say the money goes into Ham's pocket (such as this bigot). Is Ham making millions himself? No, those people are uninformed or lying. Ken Ham gets somewhere around $147,000 USD a year to run the outfit. Yes, heads of companies make money, but Ham makes nowhere near the amount of, say, the executives of Unitedhealth Group. When I point out that Clinton Richard Dawkins is worth $135 million USD, and it's expensive to join his "circle", there is no response or the subject is changed. Double standards and lack of actual reasoning are common among misotheists.

Earlier, I linked to a couple of studies that are not helpful to atheists. Are they flawed? I suspicion they could be, since many studies are. A recent study said that religion is declining, but morality is not. How is that possible? Because the sidewinders who made the study loaded the terminology so that they defined morality according to their own purposes. Traditional values, especially those of biblical Christians, had no part of the survey. "Religion" is not declining, since the religion of secularism is increasing.

No, people need to stop pretending there is no God and trying to replace him with evolution and secularism (Romans 1:18-23). The only salvation, the only hope, is found in repentance and faith in our Creator, not in the philosophies of man.
There was a time when Europe was considered culturally Christian and missionaries were sent to the corners of the world from European churches. In those days, morality was largely governed by Christian principles and the church was the center of moral life. But those days are gone. Every year the number of self-professing Christians in European nations drops and more churches close their doors. Indeed, last year the former Archbishop of Canterbury warned that the Church of England is only “one generation away from extinction.” Secularism and Islam have seemingly replaced Christianity and, unless the expected trends change, will continue to do so in the years to come.
I strongly urge that you read the rest of the article, found at "Study Asks, 'Does Morality Decline Without Religion?'"

April 10, 2016

Manipulating Opinions in the Name of Science

Leftists celebrate and Conservatives warn against the increase in politically correct activism, especially when it infringes on personal freedoms. We read how "surveys show", but how accurate are they, really? Questions are often loaded, and the questions that are asked (as well as the people selected to participate in surveys) are frequently neglected during reporting. We should know that there are sidewinders who will selectively cite and manipulate data, but it seems that many people simply take "reporting" as unbiased and factual. Not hardly!

Researchers are using manipulative tactics to influence public opinion. This is not the way for ethical scientists to behave.
Generated at Add Letters
There are surveys and research results for many purposes, including "evidence" for evolution that conveniently leaves out pertinent data, and more. Ask your friends how many people they think are of the homosexual persuasion. Some think it's about half of the population, when the actual figure in the United States is closer to five percent or less! The inflated number perception is mainly due to activism and media presentation.

Scientists are supposed to do science stuff. Unfortunately, there are people in science professions who use their work as means of not only activism, but to manipulate public opinion. They also capitalize on the way many people think: with their emotions, and without logic.
Politically correct persuasion is at your doorstep, masquerading as a scientific survey.

Last year, Science Magazine was shamed into retracting a paper written by a LGBT activist. The activist, Michael Lacour, a doctoral candidate at UCLA, leveraged the name recognition of Donald Green, a Columbia University political scientist, as co-author. When he heard about “irregularities” in Lacour’s survey data, Green later admitted he had not adequately supervised Lacour’s work (Nature). The retraction not only put egg on the face of the AAAS (publisher of Science), but also on all the politically-correct reporters who had celebrated Lacour’s “findings.”

Lacour had hired some of his gay friends to canvass houses in a conservative area, seeing if they could persuade them to change their views about gay marriage (12/17/14). As we pointed out at the time, it wasn’t a bad paper simply because of bad record-keeping, but because the whole design of the survey was overtly biased. Lacour was on a campaign to change public attitudes about gay marriage. A neutral scientific paper should have studied the effect of surveys on both views—i.e., seeing if supporters of gay marriage could be persuaded to change their views in favor of traditional marriage. Additionally, survey takers were all hired from Lacour’s gay activist group. A scientific survey should have sought to employ helpers from both positions, or better yet, used survey takers without a strong position. Everything else about the “experiment” was flawed, too, including the lack of adequate control, the lack of objectivity. It was an exercise in advocacy, pure and simple. Science was caught with its pants down, and repented—temporarily. Nature said that the incident created “a stigma that has haunted political science”; it was a “painful episode” one would think would shame researchers from doing it again.

Now, however, the Lacour defenders are back with a vengeance, touting new “survey” methods that allegedly prove that people can be “persuaded” to moderate their positions on LGBT “rights.” Once again, the survey takers are tainted with advocacy; success is being measured by the ability to change people’s attitudes toward leftist positions, not equally toward either position on this highly controversial subject facing society. You see it right in Nature’s coverage: “Door-to-door canvassing reduces transphobia.” No conservative or supporter of traditional gender roles would use that word. Supporters of traditional sex roles are not “phobic” toward LGBT people; in many cases, they love them as individuals and support their rights just as they would for any citizen. They have strongly-held convictions, however, about sex and gender, particularly when it comes to whether men should be allowed to use women’s bathrooms if they declare themselves to feel feminine (whether sincerely or not); must the privacy of girls be sacrificed to the whims of political correctness?
To read the rest and be forewarned, click on "Scientific Brainwashing Is Back".

April 1, 2016

Why Become an Atheist?

There are several reasons people claim to be atheists, some are almost laughable, all are bad. Don't be a fool and reject God's offer of salvation.

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

The Bible says you're a fool if you claim that God does not exist (Psalm 53:1 ESV). (And none of that nonsensical redefinition of atheist to "someone who lacks belief", that's not the established definition, old son. I lack belief in a universe without God.) God isn't just being insulting, but let's face it, you may be brilliant in comparison to other people, but in comparison to God, you're nothing. More than that, the word translated "fool", נָבָל, is not just lacking intelligence, but someone of low character that mocks God. 

Hold on there, Pilgrim! Don't get the bit in your teeth and think it's all right to go wild by calling every atheist you meet a fool. See the first part of the verse? Although it applies to those who deny God's existence, there are Christian fools as well! That's right. Christians profess to know God, but some think that they can get away with sin and defy him; they are saying in their hearts that there is no God. Better repent of that attitude right quick.

Back to the atheist issue. Elsewhere, I offered some opinions on why people become atheists. Some of it is "bandwagon" atheism, trying to be trendy and shock parents. Many will give the impression (or even say outright) that they spent time examining issues and searching for evidence, then intellectually decided that God does not exist. That's downright silly, because there is abundant evidence for God's existence. Further, the Bible has an explanation for the condition of the world — atheism does not have the necessary preconditions of human experience, and has a problem with morality. Some atheists are pretty doggone arrogant and seek to not only ridicule the Bible and mock Christians, but to destroy our faith so we can be as much sons of Hell as they are.

Here's one that really takes the rag off the bush. This tinhorn does not understand the history of the Big Bang, pulls that falsehood that the Big Bang has nothing to do with evolution (Carl Sagan said, "We're all star stuff", and someone else said, "A star died so you might live", or words to that effect), uses ad hominem attacks, and so on. The best part is at the end, where he indicates that people become atheists out of spite. Right, if a Christian says something he doesn't want to hear, or he just doesn't like the Christian, then he could become an atheist and it's all your fault, you big meanie! Where I come from, people are responsible for their own choices. If a professing Christian is unkind (whether for real or because someone has a burr under his saddle and wants to find an excuse to be "offended"), choosing atheism as a punishment for God, the Christian, all Christians — wow, that's dumb. He's a fool, looking to justify his rebellion against God.

Click for larger.
What it all comes down to is that people do know that God exists (Romans 1:18-22), but suppress the truth. They need to repent while there's still time. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, to give us salvation, to reconcile us to God, and he defeated death by bodily rising from the dead on the third day. Oh, you think we are the fools because we reject atheistic "reasoning"? As the Petra song says, "I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man than a fool in the eyes of God".

March 19, 2016

Cain's Wife, Biblical Incest, and Evolution

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Since the Bible is not being taught very well in too many churches, one of the questions that stymies some people is, "Where did Cain get his wife in Genesis 4:16:17? After all, we only know about Cain and Abel". It's a fair question. However, atheopaths will often use this in a weird, self-refuting way that ends with, "therefore, evolution". They claim that there is no God and the Bible is false, but they selectively cite passages as if they were true to allow God to exist so they can hate him, such as in this image.

The chronology of some of the early Hebrew writings is less linear than our 21st century minds prefer. In Genesis 5:3-4, it said that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters. As to when they had them, we're not told. Ultimately, its indicates that the sons and daughters married each other. After all, God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). Incest was expected back then.

The question of where Cain got his wife is a fair one, but atheists and evolutionists use misquote, mis-cite, and misrepresent it in a "gotcha" game. Of course, there is an answer, and it's not pleasant for them.

Centuries ago when I was in my early twenties, I saw a woman and thought, "Well, hel-lo! Ain't she a babe!" Then I was told that she was my first cousin that I hadn't seen in several years. So much for that idea! If you study on it, you'll realize that incest is not only unlawful, but morally repugnant today. We can't reasonably impose our views on the ancient people who were commanded to reproduce and marry their own kin, can we? Especially since God did not say that it was forbidden for about 2,500 years after creation (Lev. 18:6-18).

From a biblical perspective, everything was created very good (Gen 1:31). There was no genomic devolution yet. That would begin shortly afterward, when man sinned (Rom. 5:12). For that matter, when God said in Genesis 2:17, "In the day you eat of this fruit, you shall surely die". People have said, "Aha! God's a liar (because it's convenient for him to exist right now so I can hate him), because they didn't die! I win the Gotcha Game!" Do your homework, Hoss. The most accurate translation is, "dying you shall die", which means the process of dying had begun, not only for Adam and Eve, but all humanity.

Our genetic clocks are winding down. By the way, ever hear of mitochondrial Eve? Instead of supporting evolution, the science of genetics is supporting the Bible by indicating that humanity can be traced back to one woman. Remember, the Bible tells us that Eve became the mother of all humanity. These facts about genetics really get evolutionists on the prod!

So, incest was encouraged until it became a genetic issue, and at that time, God was likely to be putting a moral repugnance of incest in the hearts of people. Of course, there are people who rebel against God's moral and written laws, and against God himself. all have sinned (Rom. 3:23), and deserve death (Rom. 6:23), but God made reconciliation and salvation possible through Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17, John 1:12).

For further reading on the incest issue by people who are far better than me, see the links above, plus:

February 12, 2016

Go to the Source

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

For Question Evolution Day, I reckoned I'd point out a major bit of weirdness that anti-creation tinhorns saddle up and ride. I've seen many logical fallacies that they use, and try to not only watch my own reasoning, but encourage Christians and creationists to learn about fallacies as well. This is to keep us from getting intimidated by bullies, but also to be more accurate in our own presentations and discussion.

Atheists and other anti-creationists often attack the person that posted an article, expecting him or her to have insight into the mind of the author.

Many fallacies can be grouped together in the "red herring" category. That is, they're distractions. The ad hominem is the staple of atheists, saying things like, "You're stupid for believing in God and creation". Maybe I'm stupid, and my mother dressed me funny, too, but what does that have to do with the article's content? Another is the "straw man", where people put words in your mouth or otherwise misrepresent your position. "Hasty generalizations" are popular among atheists, where they find an article about how some pinhead refused medication because he expected God to perform a miraculous healing and he died, so the atheist uses that to say how all "religion" is bad. Yes, I've seen it.

The problem with distractions is that the thing might start regarding something a creationist posted on social media about, say, how the appendix is not a "vestigial structure", and the discussion is now about the "Ark Encounter" court battle of Answers In Genesis. The original discussion lit a shuck out of Dodge because of the distractions.

Part of this is when a Christian or creationist posts a link to an article and the Evo Sith demand answers from the one who posted it. In fact, they tend to expect whoever posted the thing to be an expert on all things they post (as if those making the demands were experts in those fields themselves). I didn't write the thing, sorry. Why don't you follow the link to the main article and contact the author or organization responsible? Of course, they seldom read what is posted in the first place.

By the way, many of the linked articles are written for us reg'lar folk. Critics occasionally complain about what is not included in them, as if that invalidates the whole thing. If people want the sources, they can click on the links included in such articles. For that matter, if they want the deep science (and if village evolutionists can understand them), they can subscribe to the peer-reviewed creation science journals.

Don't get me wrong, I have to answer for what I do write. Problem is, when I write posts that have the Introduction-Excerpt-Link format, statements in my introduction are usually addressed in the linked article. So, if someone is going to criticize, be sure to check out the linked article and supporting links. Much obliged.

We need to keep anti-creationists on-topic. They hate that. It also may lead to a good discussion in some cases, though. When they get to the personal attacks, blasphemies, and other things, feel free to disengage. It's not up to us to convince them of God's love and the truth of creation, we just need to present our case best that we can.

January 23, 2016

Establishing Evolutionary Religion in America

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Many parts of the world are becoming increasingly secularized (which may have contributed to the recent terrorist attacks), and the United States has also been riding that same trail. The rights of Christians are coming under increasing attack by atheistic owlhoots, and secular humanism is steadily becoming established as the state religion. Know what God says about people who deny him? See Psalm 14:1.

Secular humanism is a religion by their own admission, philosophically, and by court rulings. While many atheists such as Clinton Richard Dawkins are calling this a "major victory", some dishonest atheists are still trying to change reality and deny that humanism is a religion. They accept the religion of evolutionism as foundational (but deny that evolutionism is a religious): "Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing."

The world is becoming increasingly secularized, as is the United States. To further establish secular humanism as the state religion, there is an effort to declare "Darwin Day".

Atheists like Michael Zimmerman have been trying to get churches to compromise on creation. Now some federal tinhorns are attempting to establish "Darwin Day". Problem is, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution expressly forbids the government establishing a state religion: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances". Of course, they have been establishing humanistic religion for a mighty long time now. This "all hail Darwin, blessed be!" stuff takes the rag off the bush. And this will continue as they seek to deny our Creator and enthrone man.

There is resistance. We already have Question Evolution Day happening annually on February 12, which is by and for the people. There is also Creation Sunday, which I encourage churches to be a part of. But let's turn up the heat a bit more, shall we? Americans should speak out and let legislators know that Darwin Day is unacceptable, and violating the Constitution.
Two Connecticut Congressmen have introduced Darwin Day resolutions this year. House Resolution 548 is sponsored by Rep. Jim Hines (CT-4); Senate Resolution 337 is sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D- Connecticut). It comes as no surprise that the resolutions are backed by the Secular Coalition of America and the American Humanist Association.
To read the rest, click on "Stop Darwin Day!" Also, you can become involved at the new Stop Darwin Day Facebook Page.

January 4, 2016

Being Offended, Tolerance, and Fazebook Absurdity

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

At The Question Evolution Project, one of the Admins posted a picture that went a bit viral. (Ironic, I didn't make it, and it's not the topic of the Page.) The caption was about how people in 2015 were offended at everything, and it would be great if people grew up in 2016. Many people commented with strong agreement, but some were unclear on the concept. Some were on the prod along the lines of, "You want us to be quiet about injustices and just get walked on". Oh, please.

Many of us don't cotton to having people claim to be "offended" at the drop of a hat, expecting everyone else to change their ways, speech, and thinking to coddle their egos. Some of us are offended at things and just move on, not demanding "safe places" or special legislation. A lot of this is found in an entitlement mentality, people assuming they have certain "rights" because they want to follow their own desires. Demanding political correctness and so on are actually attempts to stifle free speech. Now, don't go all Opposite Orville on me. I'm not condoning the idea of speaking freely that you're inconsiderate of the sensibilities of others (one bit of cowboy etiquette is to save your cussing so it's around horses and cattle). It's quite another to have to walk on eggshells because someone, somewhere, is looking for a chance to be "offended" and file a complaint somewhere. It's like the boy who cried, "Wolf!" All those "offended" complaints diminish the impact of important things that are worth dealing with, you savvy?

Some people claim to be offended at every little thing. Facebook is rewarding bad behavior from leftists, atheists, and others while smacking down Christians and Conservatives. Being "offended" is becoming meaningless because so many people want to be coddled.

Atheists, leftists, and so on want to silence the opposition. If they can't do it through legislation, they'll do it through intimidation (including ridicule and straw man attacks). Facebook is famous for suppressing posts from Christians, creationists, and political Conservatives. Now, I don't reckon that the Facebook Anti-Speech Police are able to examine material from its 1-1/2 billion users, but they do tend to act on complaints from "offended" leftists and anti-Christians. I've reported material with a frog nailed to a cross, threats of violence, the Last Supper painting remade as ghouls engaged in a gore feast, blatant obscenity, racism, and more, but those did not violate their hate speech "standards". The hypocrites at Fazebook also coddle Mohammedan terrorists

When an individual or a Page gets the smackdown, the person can have the account suspended, and a Page can be taken down. But for atheopaths or leftists, ain't happening much. Those of us who stand for traditional moral values such as biblical truth regarding same-sex marriage run a risk of getting booted from Fazebook. Sure, FB has a standard, and it's a double.

There's a Page called God or Absurdity that stands up for many Christian values, and shows the dangers of several leftist philosophies. They got a time out for posting this picture (which was posted over seven months ago, has been spread around, but G or A got in trouble for it). They had seven posts removed, which you can see and read about here. Some pro-abortionist bushwhacker probably filed a complaint, and this Page was suspended for a while, as well as several Admins' accounts. Now, I don't agree with everything they hold to in their theology and have had some differences with them (if it was the cultist at Evolution is a Religion of Origins, I wouldn't have a burr under my saddle), but this is just plain wrong, old son.

God or Absurdity was removed, but is continuing at God or Absurdity Reloaded.

By the way, I think FB scopes out graphics more than articles, but that's just based on my experiences.

I'd like you to read the article on Facebook fascism at the God or Absurdity blog. Someone should tell Facebook that it's bad policy to irritate millions of people that they want to sell products to, and that tomorrow, they can become as irrelevant as MySpace is today. People have trouble growing up intellectually and emotionally when they have enablers and other people who reward their bad behavior. ADDENDUM 2-17-2016: It happened again, and worse this time. Click here to read the author's account. Addendum 3-01-2016: Click here to see how the Page was removed for criticizing the false religion of Islam.

December 6, 2015

Definition Obfuscation

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

For several years, I've been emphasizing how identifying logical fallacies can not only sharpen our own presentations, but help us spot deception coming from certain people. While I focus on evolution, creation science, and theology, it's easy to see how sneaky wording is used in other areas, especially those that are politically oriented.

It seems to be increasingly important to have people to define their terms, and to nail down an understanding for a discussion, debate, or reporting. That is because there is a great deal of deliberate confusion going on, especially regarding connotations of loaded words. One of my favorite examples is "fundamentalist". That word is often used as a pejorative because of the connotations of a dour legalist, and the definitions are flexible; Calvinists, Lutherans, me, others can be considered fundamentalists because we believe in the fundamentals of the faith (well, duh). Many of us don't cotton to that label because a fuller definition makes important distinctions; I'm not a Fundamentalist per se.

In discussions on evolution, definitions are very important, especially since some anti-creationist sidewinders will pull a bait 'n' switch on definitions (fallacy of equivocation). They also play other word games, and you can catch them in their double standards. We even have to define evolution so we don't talk past each other, or get manipulated by unscrupulous folks.

The leftist media and others will try to confuse people with loaded terms and false definitions. Here are some examples, and a warning.
AR-15 rifles. Image credit: US Customs and Border Protection,
where they are falsely identified as "assault rifles".
Another example is the term "assault rifle". Leftists keep using that term, and it does not mean what they think it means. The above image was liberated from a government site that identified the guns as "assault rifles". Apparently, the CBP Public Affairs writer doesn't know what defines a real assault rifle. Or perhaps this term was intentionally used to provoke emotions? I don't reckon I know for certain. For a good article on the correct definition, see "So What Is an ‘Assault Rifle’ Really? We Look at the Definitions and How the Term Is ‘Demonized’".

What really gave me a burr under the saddle about this word usage topic again was disinformation from the leftist media about the number of "mass shootings this year". The term mass shootings is emotionally-charged, and some people have the connotation of someone going into a cinema or shopping center and killing a number of bystanders, or Mohammedan terrorists killing people. (Don't get me started on how many of those mass shootings happened in so-called "gun-free zones".) Many mass shootings are related to gang violence and various disputes, so the connotation can be misleading.

The figure about mass shootings this year (2015) was not only outrageously wrong, but the media did not bother to do any fact-checking — it came from someone on Reddit who had his own definition of "mass shooting". The Reddit version has a number of mass shootings for this year that is in excess of the number of the mass shootings according to the Congressional Research Service from 1999-2013! I recommend for your reading "The Media Keeps Saying There Have Been 355 Mass Shootings This Year. That's a Lie."

Not only do we have to be wary of what we're being told, but to keep an eye out for logical fallacies — especially obfuscations of definitions for manipulation.


November 21, 2015

Fraud on Facebook?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

There are many instances of outright fraud on Facebook where people have been tricked into giving important information, making bad purchases, and so on. This is not about those third-party deceptions by sidewinders. No, this is about a different area.

Hopefully, my bad experience using Facebook's "Promote Your Page" can be a caution for others.
Modified from an image on Clker clip art
In mid-November, the option was taken using Facebook's own "Promote Your Page" option to spotlight The Question Evolution Project. There were some good articles that needed exposure, and we've done these promotions before. The targeted areas were the United States, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Indonesia (we do get visitors from non-English-speaking countries), and the promotion is toward people who have an interest in the topics we cover. When the Likes started pouring in, I realized that something was wrong.

At this moment, we show about 5,225 Likes from people who use some form of English as their selected language. According to the stats from Facebook, none of the new Likes came from the intended audience! All were from India and the Philippines. Wait, what? Some new Likes popped in from the usual areas, but apparently those were not from the promotion.

I was suspicious. New Likes, and no interaction: no comments, sharing of posts, clicking "Like" on a post, nothing. Also, I had shared my sorta new "Public Figure" Page to The Question Evolution Project, "Cowboy Bob Sorensen". That remained untouched, and the post about it was near the top of TQEP when a whole heap of Likes were commencing.

A message came in from Why?Outreach asking why the surge (we were over 6,000 by then), and I explained my puzzlement. He showed me an enlightening video about fraud on Facebook. We used the legitimate way of obtaining Likes, through Facebook (again, we've done it before). The illegitimate way is to purchase Likes, and "click farms" pay people a pittance to go hog wild with the Like button. Page Admins, take a look at the people who Like you. (I wonder if some of those Pages I've seen that skyrocket in Likes through promotions have a lot of fake Likes that the Admins don't even know about.) As the video below says, nobody can Like that many Pages! I've seen it, almost got a cramp in my finger scrolling down, and the Likes just kept on going!

When I shut off the advertising early, the influx of Likes plummeted.

Now, someone may ask, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" Problem is, fake Likes hurt your Page. I spent parts of two days deleting hundreds of those newcomers. (They're not banned, if I got someone who really does care about the Page, they can come back easily enough.) But study on it for a spell: it's no secret that people get a bit rambunctious and Like Pages they never go back to, so the end result is the same. But I'd rather have someone click Like that way, than have a link farm giving inflated figures; these were way too many, way too quick-like.

Consequences of fake Likes on Facebook
Used with permission

Here's the tricky part. I want to say that Facebook itself is guilty of fraud, but I can't rightly do that. Maybe a third party caught wind of the promotion and notified a click farm, I dunno. Maybe Facebook is guilty, but I can't give a lick of evidence about that, so I don't dare make such an accusation. I reckon they would stay above board, though, because they don't need to do those unethical things, especially since they have such a lousy reputation for double standards, so why make things worse?

But that fact is, fake Likes happened, I can only guess why, and can't do anything about it. But Facebook lost a paying customer — fortunately I'm not out a lot of money this time. Now, I suggest you take a look at the nine-minute video below, the one that Why?Outreach showed me.

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