Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Do you believe in Santa?

Today is the second day of Christmas, and I hope everyone is having a good holiday. Every year, there is a discussion around Christmas time among a certain age group whether Santa (or whatever his equivalent is called) is real. Below, I am copying a brilliant comment on the subject, posted on Prof. Jerry Coyne's site by Justin Zimmer (I don't know whether this is all his original text):

"Typical non-believers. I don’t believe in the same Santa you don’t believe in. Year after year I hear the same old arguments rolled out against the literal interpretation of Father Christmas, but never do any of you address the best arguments for Santa Claus. Of course there isn’t an obese, bearded, cis-gendered, heterosexual, white male with bad taste in winter wear and an outmoded, non-vegan, yet carbon-neutral animal based transportation system who knows when you are sleeping, or awake and judges you based on adherence to a parental and often patriarchal set of rules. That’s simply ridiculous and no self-respecting possessor of Christmas cheer truly believes that. Only children would be so naive. What is “Santa Claus” really but the spirit of goodwill towards your fellow non-gender specific human beings, the ground-of-being jolly in the cold winter months and the joy of giving to those in need. No, Santa Claus is not a literal person you can write letters to beseeching consumerist trinkets in exchange for good behavior but the natural desire to do good by others, a sensus-saint-nicolatus if you will. When you sit down to write that letter to jolly old Saint Nick, you aren’t really expecting anything in return, just submitting to the hope that somehow good things will come your way and towards others. Santa is hope, Santa is love, and who would argue against hope or love? Jerks like you of course. That coal in your stocking is merely a metaphor for the blackness of your know-it-all, a-santa-ist hearts."

Kurds betrayed again

Throughout the war against the Islamic State, Kurds have been the most valiant and committed fighters. And now, after the USA has used them, President Trump betrayed them. He suddenly announced withdrawal of US troops from Syria, which will leave the Kurds at the mercy of their enemies. And this is just the umpteenth time in history when the so-called free world betrays them. About the Islamic State, Trump says it has been defeated and will not come back. We'll see.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Creationism wrapped in two sentences

Prof. Jerry Coyne recently reported how a creationist tried to troll his site. Below the post, commenter "Pray Hard" beautifully summarized the nonsense of creationism in two short sentences:

"I stopped trying to convince people about evolution long ago. If they can look at a fossil in stone and tell me that God put it there to test their faith, I don’t see much point in continuing."