Hindu Gods Get Summons From Court

From BBC News:

A judge in India has summoned two Hindu gods, Ram and Hanuman, to help resolve a property dispute.

Judge Sunil Kumar Singh in the eastern state of Jharkhand has issued adverts in newspapers asking the gods to “appear before the court personally”.

The gods have been asked to appear before the court on Tuesday, after the judge said that letters addressed to them had gone unanswered.

Ram and Hanuman are among the most popular Indian Hindu gods.

Judge Singh presides in a “fast track” court – designed to resolve disputes quickly – in the city of Dhanbad.

The dispute is now 20 years old and revolves around the ownership of a 1.4 acre plot of land housing two temples.

Damn gods don’t ever bother to fill out their change of address forms:

Judge Singh sent out two notices to the deities, but they were returned as the addresses were found to be “incomplete”.

This prompted him to put out adverts in local newspapers summoning the gods.

“You failed to appear in court despite notices sent by a peon and later through registered post. You are herby directed to appear before the court personally”, Judge Singh’s notice said.

(via The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire)

Creationist “Scientist” Shocked to be Fired From Project Based on Evolutionary Theories

From the Boston Globe:

The battle between science and creationism has reached the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where a former researcher is claiming he was fired because he doesn’t believe in evolution.
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Nathaniel Abraham filed a lawsuit earlier this week in US District Court in Boston saying that the Cape Cod research center dismissed him in 2004 because of his Christian belief that the Bible presents a true account of human creation.

Abraham, who is seeking $500,000 in compensation for a violation of his civil rights, says in the suit that he lost his job as a postdoctoral researcher in a biology lab shortly after he told his superior that he did not accept evolution as scientific fact.

“Woods Hole believes they have the right to insist on a belief in evolution,” said David C. Gibbs III, one of Abraham’s two attorneys and general counsel of the Christian Law Association in Seminole, Fla.

Evolution is a fundamental tenet of biology that species emerge because of genetic changes to organisms that, over time, favor their survival. Creationists reject the notion that humans evolved from apes and that life on Earth began billions of years ago, but Gibbs said Abraham “truly believes there was no conflict between religion and his job.”

Woods Hole officials released a statement saying, “The Institution firmly believes that its actions and those of its employees concerning Dr. Abraham were entirely lawful,” and that the center does not discriminate on the basis of religion.

In a 2004 letter to Abraham, his boss, Woods Hole senior scien tist Mark E. Hahn, wrote that Abraham said he did not want to work on “evolutionary aspects” of the National Institutes of Health grant for which he was hired, even though the project clearly required scientists to use the principles of evolution in their analyses and writing.

Pharyngula has a great take on this including this gem:

If he thinks he can get a half-mil for wrongful termination on this, I’m going to march down to the local fundie church and demand a job as youth pastor, which I will prosecute by explaining the absurdity of god-belief to the little kids in Sunday School, and then I’ll sue when they fire me. This isn’t simply firing someone for incidental, private beliefs—it’s firing him for practices that actually conflict with the stated purpose of the job.

Abraham is now working at Liberty University, where all creationist poseurs who claim to be scientists go to die.

Six Feet Under

I stayed up late last night watching the three remaining episodes I had of the last season of Six Feet Under. I didn’t watch SFU at all when it was on HBO so knew very little about it when I received the first dvd of season one from Netflix about two months ago and since then the mailman has become my drug dealer, bringing me my fix in the little red envelopes twice a week. But, I’ve watched them all and am deep in withdrawal. The series finale may have been one of the best of all time. (No fade to black while Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” played here.) Any other Six Feet Under fans here?

Garfield Through Jon’s Eyes


Arbuckle: Removing the thought bubbles from Garfield:

In 1978, Jim Davis began a newspaper comic strip called “Garfield”. For almost thirty years, this strip has endured, primarily because its inoffensive, storyless humour is immediately accessible. It is, if not quite the Lowest Common Denominator of the comic world, at least as close to it as one can get without being obviously mediocre.

The comic changes dramatically when one removes the thought bubbles.

“Garfield” changes from being a comic about a sassy, corpulent feline, and becomes a compelling picture of a lonely, pathetic, delusional man who talks to his pets. Consider that Jon, according to Garfield canon, cannot hear his cat’s thoughts. This is the world as he sees it. This is his story.

(via del.icio.us/wcitymike)

Daily Dose of Ingersoll

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As long as a church deems a certain belief essential to salvation, just so long it will kill and burn if it has the power. Why should the church pity a man whom her God hates? Why should she show mercy to a kind and noble heretic whom her God will burn in eternal fire? Why should a Christian be better than his God? It is impossible for the imagination to conceive of a greater atrocity than has been perpetrated by the church. Every nerve in the human body capable of pain has been sought out and touched.

Robert Green Ingersoll – “Heretics and Hericies”(1874)