Archive for March, 2008


Wisconsin Girl Sacrificed on Fundamentalist Altar

An eleven year old girl in Wisconsin is not going to have a chance to play in the spring sun today. Why? She died of diabetic shock because her fundamentalist parents refused to seek insulin treatment for her. They attributed her death to the failure of their month long prayer ritual and “apparently they didn’t have enough faith.” Lucky for them, in the state of Wisconsin if your fundamentalist religious beliefs are so inclined you are allowed to deny your diabetic daughter insulin and let her die in an insulin induced coma as your prayers go unheard. This is a great and free country, huh!

As a parent I find this behavior is shocking and it stiffens my resolve to continue the fight against all fundamentalist sects, be they Christian, Judaic or Islamic and all of the proponents of the Intelligent Design Pseudo-Theory. I would do anything to protect my children and to watch another parent shun help and allow their child to die because of their religious pride is perhaps the greatest sin a parent can perpetuate upon their offspring. That to me is the very definition of child abuse and in essence, that girl was sacrificed to a god in much the same manner as any human sacrifice in a bygone pagan ritual.

We have a planet inhabited by 7 billion people, by far the greatest monoculture of large animals ever assembled in the history of this planet. Any scientist will tell you that a monoculture is always ripe for the outbreak of a serious infection. Science got us to this stage in our cultural and agricultural evolution and it will have to keep us here, maybe even give us a fighting chance against the next global pandemic. And yet in the fundamentalist perfect world there would be no teaching of evolution at any level of school. Unfortunately, that very same evolutionary science, and its bastard offspring called genetics, helped us to develop the latest vaccines and medical cures that are the mainstays of our battle against disease.

What scientific triumphs or miracles can be said to have evolved from the teaching of Intelligent Design? Nothing, it just exists to oppose evolution, there are no hypothesis or verifiable actions springing from its teaching. Some of the Creationist Intelligent design papers I have seen included a study of the six days of creation and when various life forms were introduced by god during the days of the week. This rigorous scientific evaluation consisted of let’s see, if its Tuesday its time for algae to appear! If we just relied on the old “god did it” theory that the Intelligent design crowd is so enamored with we would soon be dealing with plaques and a host of other horrid diseases of an untold magnitude. And, oh yes, the fundamentalists would be reminding us that this was God’s revenge on the sinful and was foreseen by the Bible.

Fundamentalists may ignore science at their own peril but please don’t risk my children’s health and future because of your fundamentalist insistence on ignorance. Moreover, I remind religious fundamentalists that you have ample opportunity to teach your ignorance to your children within your own Sunday school walls. You wouldn’t expect a biologist to come in and ask for equal time to teach evolution at your Sunday school now would you? Of course not and I would fight for your right to oppose such an intervention. But please do not allow your ignorant belief system to spill into the public school system. We need all the bright minds we can get in this country and you never know where the next scientific genius is going come from.

Here is my question to you? Should we forgive or punish the parents of that girl? As a Christian you might be inclined to think and feel that the parents have suffered enough. I remember the words of one of the Amish mothers that recently lost a daughter to a deranged gun man. She was there to console the family of the gun man and people couldn’t understand her charitable behavior to the family. To paraphrase, she said to them “you have to forgive to be forgiven.” Beautiful words, in my estimation, the very essence and all that is good in Christianity.

But what if I told you, hypothetically that is, that one of the remaining three girls in that family was also diabetic like her sister. Do we and the authorities allow the second child to die on the altar of ignorance once again? What do you think?

(Latest news is that the authorities decided to remove the other three children to be on the safe side.)


Creationist School Books and What passes for Education in Intelligent Design!

Below is an comment I received in response to one of my blogs that was basically an advertisement for a Creationist school book series. I don’t get mad at this sort of thing since I do the same type of viral marketing with Flores Girl. On the other hand, I guess I don’t have a life so I actually looked the site up. Wow, talk about strange. I have never seen someone tie themselves up in mental knots like this before. I mean I once knew a girl who was good with knots but that’s an entirely different story and for a entirely new blog. Anyway, take a gander at this and see if any of this makes sense to you. I get this stuff all the time because of the name of my adventure podcast, Flores Girl: The Children Got Forgot. The creationist flog to the site like birds to freshly washed car. Did I mention Flores Girl was a free podcast at Podiobooks? Okay, I’m a marketing slut, I admit it.

Erik John Bertel


The Quest for !@#$, a series of 7 textbooks created for the public schools, represents the ultimate marriage between an in-depth knowledge of biblical phenomena and natural and physical sciences. (You got this is for the home schooled crowd -EjB) The several volumes have accomplished that which, heretofore, was deemed impossible: to level the playing field between those who desire a return to physical science in the classroom and those who embrace the theory of evolution. The Quest for Right turns the tide by providing an authoritative and enlightening scientific explanation of natural phenomena which will ultimately dethrone the unprofitable Darwinian view.

(How about a little dethroning via some scientific research and experimentation rather than saying god did it? -EjB)

The backbone of Darwinism is not biological evolution per se, but electronic interpretation, the tenet that all physical, chemical, and biological processes result from a change in the electron structure of the atom which, in turn, may be deciphered through the orderly application of mathematics, as outlined in quantum mechanics. A few of the supporting theories are: degrading stars, neutron stars, black holes, extraterrestrial water, antimatter, the absolute dating systems, and the big bang, the explosion of a singularity infinitely smaller than the dot of an “i” from which space, time, and the massive stellar bodies supposedly sprang into being.

(Huh, I guess this is how creationists try to explain randomness in the gene pool – EjB)

The philosophy rejects any divine intervention. Therefore, let the philosophy of Darwinism be judged on these specifics: electron interpretation and quantum mechanics. Conversely, the view that God is both responsible for and rules all the phenomena of the universe will stand or fall when the facts are applied. The view will not hinge on faith alone, but will be tested by the weightier principle of verifiable truths – the new discipline.

(Actually that is the province of physicists but what the heck if we muddy the water enough maybe nobody will notice all we are saying is god did it! – EjB)
The Quest for !@$# is not only better at explaining natural phenomena, but also may be verified through testing. As a consequence, the material in the several volumes will not violate the so-called constitutional separation of church and state. Physical science, the old science of cause and effect, will have a long-term sustainability, replacing irresponsible doctrines based on whim. Teachers and students will rejoice in the simplicity of earthly phenomena when entertained by the new discipline.

(Ouch, new discipline – that sounds scary, almost Catholic school-like. Still it could be fun with the right girl! Yikes, I’m starting to sound like a fetish freak!-EjB)

The Quest for !@#$ is not only an academic resource designed for the public schools, but also contains a wealth of information on pertinent subjects that seminarians need to know to be effective: geology, biology, geography, astronomy, chemistry, paleontology, and in-depth Biblical studies. The nuggets from the pages of Biblical history alone will give seminarians literally hundreds of fresh ideas for sermons and teachings. The ministry resources contained in The Quest for Right serve as invaluable aids that will enrich graduates beyond their highest expectations.

(Stephen Hawkins watch out, those wacky creationists scientists will be after you next! – EjB)

Here’s a passage from the book:

The investigation tackles the perplexing problem of how to reduce the earth’s heavy saturation of atmospheric water vapors on the first and second days of creation to their present level. Interestingly, light but not the sun was created on the first day; the sun was created on the fourth day. The cleric scholarship, unaccustomed to the laws of classical physics, has been rendered impotent in the submission of any viable mechanism. The league of scientists are similarly neutralized even though they have the answer within their grasp. The quandary leaves the investigation poised to solve the seemingly inexplicable riddle by incorporating the best of both worlds: the premises set down in the scientific record of creation and the fundamental rules of classical physics, which hold the universe in its grasp. The mystery is solved by entertaining a certain aspect of the marvelous water molecule.

(What the heck? Is it me or does any of this make sense? I know I am not home schooled but huh?- EJB)

You will not want to miss the adventure of a lifetime which awaits you in Volume 1 of The Quest for !@#$. (Wow, there are seven volumes of them)

“A book that will change the world.” – Wayne’s World, Editor, Vanity Publishing

(I thought the Bible did that? Hey, this is fun, it’s good to be the king- EjB)


A Mighty Wind Named Rush Backs Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Okay, I just can’t let go of this one. The other problem with this silly pseudo-science is that Intelligent Design purports to have some great interfaith universality when in fact teaching Intelligent Design would be contrarian to many other religious beliefs as well. Many Buddhists have little need or no need for a creator/personal god guiding the direction of the universe and for a fundamentalist the god of Intelligent design would weaken the power of their personal god or their fundamental belief in a 6,000 year old earth. Intelligent design, as advocated by Expelled, is not only bad science but bad religious dogma for many people as well and is specifically a tired, rehashed Judaic/Christian fundamentalist dogma.


Furthermore, Intelligent Design is a belief structure that is reduced to disingenuous nitpicking at the edges of scientific theory called evolution, looking for a foothold where none is forthcoming or where the ground is forever shifting. And does anyone care the least bit that Intelligent Design actually destroys any illusion of free will? I mean when does god’s hand comes down and beginning squeezing the jaws of the chosen people so that the next generation can have one less molar? I am of course referring to the observation that our wisdom teeth have become superfluous in modern man as our jaws continued to be downsized. And if god is removing teeth as part of his great evolutionary plan what else is god mucking with? If all of this sounds rather silly as an argument well that’s because it is. Rather than being liberating like religion, Intelligent Design is a bastard child of Creationist’s convenience and is not terribly convincing even as a pseudo-science.


The loss of ‘free will’ is of no concern to Rush Limbaugh, after all he believes life should be scripted as per his own neo-conservative credo and no dissenter need  apply. Rush skewers the scientific community with such dismissive comments as “the condescension and the arrogance these people have, they will readily admit that Darwinism and evolution do not explain how life began.”  Hey, lard ass, it’s the theory of evolution and not the theory of creation! Jeez, can’t you follow any discriminating, structured argument? 


So now the great vicodin-fueled gas bag himself has added his own personal endorsement to the movie Expelled. And why not? Minimal critical thinking is required to embrace Intelligent Design and with Intelligent Design god’s chosen species is once again returned to the top of the proverbial spiritual food chain. I should point out since man made god in his own image it comes as no surprise that most fundamentalist religions make it a point to exclude women from their own theocracy. When does the madness and stupidity stop?


Alright, I know I said that insults have to stop but really isn’t Rush Limbaugh just an escaped caricature from some perverse adult theme park?  Al I can say is just be careful Rush or scientists will stop inventing new pain killers for you to buy from your housekeeper. And that cheesy photo of him with a cigar!  Doesn’t he know cigars go best with a tacky Hawaiian shirt!




Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed at the Movies: Where Bad Religion Doctrine Meets Bad Science

Wow! “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the movie has made evolution chic once again. If you haven’t heard yet those wacky creationists got the bright idea to make a pro-Intelligent design movie. Unlike others that feel it is their right to comment on a movie they haven’t seen I haven’t seen this original piece of work so I will limit my comments to the central premise of the movie: Intelligent Design. You may also be wondering why the hell a blog about writing cares about Intelligent design. One of the basic themes of my novel and free speculative fiction podcast, Flores Girl:The Children God Forgot, is the individual struggle between a path of science and one’s spiritual choices. Many of the more devout podcast listeners are offended by the main character’s irreverent take on religion, after all they are biologists, and I have exchanged some interested discourses with some religious fundamentalist types.

What is interesting about the Expelled phenomenon is that the bitterness and acrimony expressed during the reviews of the movie can only be the province of true believers on both sides of the argument. Categorically, each side has rejected the other’s arguments and the personal animosity shows. Science is about the pursuit of truth but not necessarily the seeking of a final truth whereas religion is all about a final truth as accepted by the true believers. And yes, science does have its own dogma and priesthood but that doesn’t mean the pursuits of the church and science are the same. That contradiction just reflects the ture nature of man. The problem is there is no halfway solution; the two should remain irrevocably separate. To teach one as a complement to the other in some sort of bizarre ying and yang relationship does a disservice to the lucid thinking of our younger generations and confuses the choices of an individual.

Moreover, while the knowledge of god is liberating to a pious person, to a scientist the heavy hand of god is extremely confining. There is not much a scientist can do with the theory that “god did it” or that “god will do it” and that in essence is the guiding insight of Intelligent design. Okay, they say Intelligent guidance rather than the almighty but wink, wink we all know they are talking about god, and in fact a Christian god. And if you believe in the doctrine of Intelligent design at what exact point in the science do you throw up your hands and acknowledge the handiwork of that god? That’s not as easy a decision as you might think if you think rationally and scientifically.

Today, physicists struggle to throw off the self-imposed shackles of their own Big Bang theory by embracing string and brane theory so unwilling are they to acknowledge the imposition of a god at a given starting point or singularity in the universe. And I say good for them, stretching the imagination is prerequisite for science and being timid has no place in science. Scientific theory has an entire thought and review process that is alien to religious practice and rather than fostering blind leaps of faith, science is forever skeptically questioning what we know. Rather than seeing the scientific process of question and debate as strength the very scientific process emboldens the ignorant. Asking why five fingers, two eyes and a single anus is de rigeur for a scientist rather than the blind belief that we are made in god’s image. I don’t know why we are what we are but saying god did it is not going to get us any closer to the truth; it just makes it easier for the vast majority of us to excuse ourselves for being intellectually lazy.

Getting back to my comment that there can be no middle solution with teaching evolution and creationism, excuse me Intelligent design, that would be analogous to a person asking to become a priest without believing in God on the pretense that he wants to serve mankind. No sane Church would have him as a member of t he clergy no matter how good his intentions. He would be kindly reminded that there are other, more appropriate venues for him to demonstrate his innate humanitarianism.

Now to the flip side of the coin as they say. The true believer on the side of science has a considerable personal investment in their own personal struggle to free themselves from the yoke of religious instruction and oppression. Men railing against one another about the existence of God and his/her manifestations in the world, each claiming to have greater insights as to the truth is a common artifact of this individual’s spiritual struggle. For the atheist and agnostic alike religion smells of man and not god and consequently they are reduced to ineffectual displays of rebellion à la Sinead o Connor as she ripped up photos of the Pope on stage. And yet they forget that straining against the religious ties that bind often constricts you more. I know that because I have been in that bitter mode before. So for my evolutionary friends I say use a little less venom, fewer insults and add a little more understanding as to why men (word used deliberately) clutch to their seemingly irrational beliefs. They are not all morons and face it, it is a basic biologically urge to seek the ultimate alpha male in god!

More to follow!


Observation Regarding the Latest Flores Island Controversy

A new George Washington study of craniums discloses that the Hobbits of Flores Island are in fact a new human species. Well duh, the GW study is merely stating the obvious as the likes of the late Dr. Teuku Jacob and Dr. Berger’s Palau find continue to muck the proverbial academic waters with their own murky agendas. No wonder the creationists feel so emboldened nowadays when they observe evolutionary scientists continuously getting embroiled in a pissing contest of personal egos. As Dr. Junger from SUNY Stony Brook said the Palau find is “is really much ado about nothing.” I guess the fact that none of the Palau bones found match the hobbits really doesn’t matter. After all, the frontal cranium looks almost as high as a human’s but hey Dr. Berger says they are related to the hobbit. Damn, can’t we complete a dig before we report the findings nowadays?

You know I have a vested interest in this discovery, having written the speculative fiction novel called Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot on the recent fossil find.

Get the Free Flores Girl e-Book at

Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is an exciting speculative adventure story about the discovery of a new prehistoric people by two scientists, Sarah and Richard. Their discovery is threatened by both religious zealots and marauding industrialists. Download the e-Book in PDF, Mobi and Microsoft Reader formats. Honest it is free at Just click the chick!

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  • Exodus - The Final Chapter
    Sarah and Richard must fight their way off the island in this final installment of the podcast.
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    As death and chaos overtakes the island, Sarah and Richard try to escape Reggie.
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    Reggie begins a reign of terror on the island that will leave nobody, including the Ebu, safe from his murderous schemes. Reggie's only challenge will be a visit from the biggest murderer in human history.
  • The Capture
    Sarah and Richard must make their escape after witnessing Reggie's brutal capture of the Ebu.
  • The Guardian Meets the Lab Rat
    Bill is presuaded by Reggie to meet with Karl.
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  • Weakness
    Sarah is stricken by a life threatening illness that triggers a strange personal odyssey for her.
  • The Princess Meets Flo
    While observing the troop, Sarah forms a friendship with one of the Ebu that she names Flo.
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    Sarah makes a risky first contact with the Ebu.
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    -In this episode: Sarah and Richard wait for the Ebu at a small pond.
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    As they begin to set out for Sarah's island, Sarah's and Richard's boat is boarded by dangerous high-sea pirates.
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    Before leaving for Sarah's mysterious island Sarah and Richard head out for a night on the town in Flores.
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    Ruthless elements within a large pharmaceutical company make their own plans for the Ebu.