Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Overwhelming support for Camp Quest UK

Some journalists may not be behind Camp Quest UK but the majority of the public seem to be.

As I write this blog, my children are away at the first ever Camp Quest UK. I’m still somewhat perplexed at the media storm the camp seems to have generated. Today for example we had this update from The Guardian, and this piece from The Daily Mail.

I spoke to Zoe Brenan, the author of the article in today’s Daily Mail, briefly whilst coming home on the train a few weeks ago. In order to try and stir up a bit of controversy or pander to what she perceives as the faithful majority, she's opted for the “Should we be worried what these atheists are up to?” angle.

It’s a fairly lengthy piece that includes a couple of quotes from this blog and the information presented seems pretty accurate, what I found somewhat irksome however was the fact the Zoe seemed to be trying to raise a rabble of Christian apologists against Camp Quest. Believers cages are notoriously easy to rattle and therefore an easy angle to court controversy, but I suspect that Zoe has misjudged the general British opinion.

Looking at the comments left by readers on the online version of the article, numerous people have left messages in support of the rational and scientific approach of Camp Quest. I know a snapshot of a small uncontrolled straw poll is not necessarily and accurate summary of the public perspective, but nonetheless I decided to analyse the comments to gain a quick summary of the overall opinions of the readers.

The comment facility on the Mail Online allows readers to rate all comments with a "thumbs up" agree, or a "thumbs down" disagree. This gives each comment a positive or negative score in support of, or disagreeing with the comment. I sorted all of the comments in a spreadsheet into 2 categories, those offering support and agreement with the Camp Quest philosophy, and those criticising or giving negative comments about the camp. I then added up the total positive and negative votes in each category to give an overall total of the votes cast in favour, or against each type of comment.

The graph below shows the results with a net 2,276 thumbs up in support of the positive comments for Camp Quest and a net result of 426 thumbs down disagreeing with the negative comments about Camp Quest.


I’m rather impressed with that.


In addition to the above articles in today's Guardian and the Mail, I have also spoken on the Radio a bit. Here’s some links

First here’s a link to myself and Samantha Stein talking on the Sunday programme on Radio 4.



And here’s a link to the news item on Radio 4 and Radio 5 live this week.

And here’s an article on the BBC website

And here’s a few previous posts linking to other media appearances:

Crispian Jago: Godless Media Slag
Atheist Summer Camps?
Thanks For Spelling My Name Correctly

Friday, 24 July 2009

Celebrity Quack Trumps

Following the immensely successful God Trumps featured in New Humanist, I was surprised that I couldn’t find a similar offering for alternative medicine quackery. As I was shocked by the amount of celebrities who are prepared to endorse dubious alternative medicines, I thought that perhaps some Celebrity Quack Trumps were called for. Here’s the first batch...



The following resources were used to gather the information on these cards.

Trick or Treatment by Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
Whatstheharm.net by Tim Farley
Skepdic.com by Robert T. Carroll


Postscript:
After talking to some people at Skeptics in the Pub last night, I realised that quite a few people don’t know how to play “Top Trumps”. I thought it was a global phenomenon, but according to Wikipedia it was more of a British Schoolboy 1970’s thing. Perhaps this is why US links have been referring to them as Collectors Cards, presumably more akin to collecting a set of cards given away with chewing gum. “Top Trumps” were always sold as a complete set to enable you to play the game, and in case you actually want to play top trumps with them,
here are the rules.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Do You View Religion as a Crutch?

A crutch is a common and familiar metaphor used to describe the comfort and support that religion affords many people. If indeed we view religion as a crutch for these people then it would seem to be to be rather immoral to attempt to kick away the crutches of the needy, simply because we have the freedom to stand up on our own two feet. Surely we would be better employed making sure the next generation are not so crippled during their childhood that they too will require a crutch for the rest of their lives. So lets not make our children God fearing, lets make them life loving. Let’s not segregate their education in faith schools based on the arbitrary beliefs of their parents lets oppose religious apartheid. Let’s encourage our kids to think for themselves and grow up to stand tall without reliance on myth and superstition.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Connie Sonne, The Million Dollar Challenge & Skeptical Heresy?

Anyone who reads this blog should be familiar with James Randi’s $1 Million challenge. However, on the off chance that you’re new to this sort of thing…..

The Amazing Randi has a fund of $1 Million dollars that he is fully prepared to give away to anyone who can demonstrate paranormal or psychic abilities under agreed scientifically controlled conditions. Obviously no one has every succeeded or you’d have heard about it by now.

Anyway, on Sunday 12th July 2009 a preliminary test for the $1 Million challenge was held in front of a live audience in the Conference Room at the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa in Las Vegas Nevada as part of “The Amazing Meeting 7”.

The challenger, Connie Sonne, claims to have the ability to be able to find certain playing cards by dowsing for them. The test conditions that she signed up to consisted of dowsing for randomly selected playing cards between 1 (an Ace) and 10, three times for three different suits. The picture cards were discarded and the deck sorted into the 4 suits, the cards within each suit were shuffled and each card was placed separately inside 2 sealed envelopes and then all the envelopes containing the 10 cards of each suit where placed inside a larger envelope for that suit. Three suits were selected randomly, then a specific card within each suit was chosen using a ten sided die. For each of three selected suits the 10 envelopes containing each card were placed in-front of Connie in a semi circle. Connie then doused for the required cards. It was agreed that Connie would need to correctly locate all 3 cards to successfully pass the challenge.

Although I was not fortunate enough to be there, I was able to watch the challenge on a live video stream. As a grumpy, seasoned old skeptic, you may well have expected me to be eagerly hoping for Connie to fail the challenge so I could once again confirm my beliefs in the non existence of such silly stuff. However, much to my surprise, as my wife and I both watched events unfold; I was mentally cheering Connie on, actually hoping that she would succeed.

Connie looked confident and had a pleasant demeanour but unfortunately failed to correctly locate any of the 3 cards and so failed the Challenge. As with many challengers, I got the impression that she genuinely believed in her claimed abilities rather than being a simple fraudster.

A week or so after the challenge, I was delighted to hear Swoopy speaking on the Skepticality podcast saying that she too was hoping for Connie to succeed, which caused me to reflect on things.

I may indeed be a grumpy old skeptic, but as a supporter of the scientific method, I’m perfectly willing to accept that I might be wrong and that I may have to reconsider my beliefs in the light of any new valid and contrary evidence.


So what would happen if Connie, or someone else, did succeed in the preliminary challenge?

Well for a start we would have to take their claim seriously. More rigorous tests and experiments would be required. If success turned out to be unrepeatable and down to fraud or pure chance then that’s just more evidence against an irrational belief. But if the claims of the challengers turned out to be true, that would be completely amazing and I would be quite tizzy with excitement.

Science would be forced to investigate the phenomenon in more detail so the effect can be fully explained and understood. As a result scientific understanding would eventually leap forward and embrace this new knowledge with all of the benefits and advantages that scientific advancement brings. Of course this is pretty unlikely, and much money and resources have been wasted by governments and organisation chasing wild geese before. However, the beauty of the million dollar challenge, is that the critical thinking skills of those at the JREF make it less likely that we are duped into wasting valuable time and resources chasing rainbows. But if someone did get through, that would most definitely not be #JREF fail, it would be very existing stuff indeed.

So either way, the million dollar challenge can't lose, it either continues to support and provide further evidence for the current scientific consensus against the existence of paranormal phenomenon, or it opens the door to a whole new sphere of valid and worthwhile scientific research, and that’s worth 1 million of anyone’s dollars.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Lunatic is on the Grass

What if no one else shared their delusion?
What if they interpreted the voice inside their head as Napoleon instead of God?


Special thanks to the most excellent New Humanist God Trumps, from where I stole the religious character images. Also I would like to apologise in advance to any religions I have failed to offend, hopefully I’ve covered most of the major ones.

Monday, 20 July 2009

What Should We Replace Gideon Bibles With?

I stuck a pointless little poll on this blog last month, for no particular reason other than the fact that I was fiddling with different blog widgets. Anyway, much to my surprise a total of 519 people took the poll, so I thought I’d best let you know how it went.

The poll was inspired by the Gideon’s Bible my daughter was given at school. She was given a lecture by the chap from the Gideon Society and told that this book contained all the answers she would ever need. I’m not actually too impressed that members of a religious group have access to state schools to give away books and attempt to sway the children’s thinking. How would we feel if religious fundamentalists were giving away propaganda at schools and attempting to indoctrinate our kids, or if political parties took over the class-rooms to attempt to recruit the kids to their particular policies? I deliberately chose a secular school so that my children would receive a balanced religious education and not influenced by anyone viewpoint.

Anyway, I suggested perhaps that there are some better books that we could give away to kids, and listed the following four:

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan
The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The results were as follows:
The order you voted in, is incidentally the order I would have chosen myself. The Hitch Hikers Guide was the only one of the 4 books that I read as child, and I suspect I would not have got so much out of the other three if I had not read them as an adult. “Origin of Species” while being easily the most significant and groundbreaking, is, I hate to admit, a rather dry read, and it would not have inspired me as a child. The Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy however covers all sorts of scientific and philosophical ideas that totally engrossed me as a child and I suspect may have impacted me without me realising.

So how do we go about giving a free copy of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy to every school child?

Anyway, time for a new poll. I’ve been blogging about allsorts of irrationality lately, all of which seem absurd to me, however, some are more silly that others. So what do you think is the Wackiest Woo? Take the new poll.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

iWoo

The irrational may be a little, well, irrational, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not tech savvy. I was looking for some new applications on the Apple App Store to download to my iPhone this afternoon, when I came across numerous pieces of iWoo. There are applications to give you horoscope readings, bible quotes, alternative medicine advice, in fact all areas of irrationality seem to be covered.

Just to give you an idea of how much iWoo there is, here are the numbers of applications available today for each of the following categories.

NB I haven’t examined each application in detail, so they may not necessarily be woo apps, also I have no doubt missed a few apps as well, however the numbers given should still be a fairly decent ball park figure.

Paranormal Woo
Astrology – 65 Apps
Tarot Cards – 61 Apps
Psychic - 60 Apps
Fortune Telling – 41 Apps
Voodoo – 41 Apps
Numerology – 32 Apps
Palm Reading – 28 Apps
Ouija – 15 Apps
Dowsing -1 App

Religious Woo
Bibles – 479 Apps
Prayer – 230 Apps
Jewish -193 Apps
General Religion - 216 Apps
Christianity – 119 Apps
Islam – 91 Apps
Witchcraft – 7 Apps
Faith Healing – 5 Apps

Alternative Medicine Woo
Acupuncture - 21 Apps
Homeopathy – 13 Apps
Chiropractic - 12 Apps
Reiki – 12 Aps
Herbal Remedies – 6 Apps

General Woo
Feng Shui – 24 Apps
Conspiracy Theories – 5 Apps


To give you a few examples, here are some screen shots of a few choice apps that look especially silly.

Finally, On a more positive note, whilst looking around the App Store I also came across the CounterKnowledge app. Highly recomended for all iPhone users.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

T-Shirts for Science, Reason & Critical Thinking

I mentioned in previous posts that I’m a bit of an evangelical rationalist, so in addition to buying my T-Shirts at gigs, I’ve also been buying a few T-Shirts to promote science and rationalism over superstition and religion. To my pleasant surprise, I have been getting numerous positive comments from strangers and passers-by. Last week for example, a waiter in a Chinese restaurant complimented me on my blue atheist T-Shirt and the curator in the museum called out to me across the room to register his approval for the brown atheism one.

In fact I have now lost count on the amount of support and approval I have received for all of the following T-Shirts:














There really is a lot of rationalism out there, so there's no need to be shy.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Superstitious Homeopathy Blues

After reading up quite a bit recently on a number of alternative medicines, it seems to me that homeopathy must be quiet the silliest. I have therefore attempted to rewrite Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in recognition of the absurdity of this treatment. I also thought I’d have a go at singing it, which my wife reliably informs me was a big mistake, but hear it is anyway.

video

Hahnemann’s in the basement.
Mixing up the Medicine.
I’m on my iMac.
Blogging ‘bout the daft quack.
The man in the lab coat.
Looking for the essence.
Says there is no evidence.
It has any potence.
Look out woo.
We’re coming after you.
God Knows Why.
You peddle such a lie.
You better prove your efficacy.
To be taken seriously.
The man in the drug store.
Doesn’t look too sure.
He may be unwell.
And doesn’t need a water spell.

Charlie makes a tincture.
Cornish water, so pure.
Mummy is so cock sure.
It provides the best cure.
Duchy cures at a guess.
Are completely useless.
Remedies have no success.
Complete and utter BS.
Look out woo.
You haven’t got a clue.
Logic must take a hit.
If you want to market it.
Evidence, not a bit.
Clinical trials, omit.
Don’t trust, this fuckwit.
His remedies, are unfit.
You don’t need scientist.
To tell you that he’s full of shit.

Dilute, shake well.
Active ingredients, expel.
Always say its natural.
If you potion’s gonna sell.
Wolfsbane, insane.
Wont cure migraine.
Rather have, chow-mein.
C’mon guys, use your brain.
Look out woo.
Truth is your taboo.
And if like cures like.
I will take a hike.
Now we know it’s utter shite.
Girl on the treadmill.
Looking for a new pill.
Don’t follow health quacks.
Charlatans with phony plaques.

Try hard, to believe.
Trusting, and naïve.
If you manage to decieve.
Placebo effect you’ll receive.
You’ll never, treat me.
Even for, a modest fee.
It’s all just a fantasy.
Bad science clearly.
You don’t have a remedy.
Look out woo.
Your principles untrue.
Debate, ignite.
Don’t treat snakebite.
Skeptics, unite.
Reason takes flight.
The anecdotes you recite.
As evidence its pretty slight.
You can’t bottle sunlight.
Thunderstorms or starry night.


Comments are most welcome as always, but you needn’t bother commenting just to tell me that I can’t sing, I’m well aware of that. I was asked to leave the school choir.

Oh and thanks to these guys who provided the great instrumental version for me to ruin

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

How to dismantle a Church

I’ve been reading a lot of articles recently that are hinting at the fact that the new atheism is taking on some of the tendencies that it rallies against. I even read a criticism in this months “Skeptic” by David Sloan Wilson, who suggested that the new atheism is becoming a stealth religion.

Personally I can’t see how atheism can be a religion any more than not collecting stamps is a hobby. So why do I need to identify myself as an Atheist, but not as an Aphilatelic? Should I just shut up about religion and ignore it like the overwhelming majority of the British people for whom religion plays no active part in their lives?

It was quite refreshing to read a senior member of the clergy in the Telegraph this week, who was prepared to face up to evidenced decline of the Church of England. I’m not so sure that we will see the disestablishment of the Church (as suggested in the article), and I don’t think I’d want to either. However, I strongly support the separation of Church and State and oppose the privileges afforded to the Churches.

I’ve no desire to witness the cataclysmic decline of the Church. Partly because of the fine role it plays in our culture and history, and partly because I fear that in ignorance, we may simply exchange one set of irrational beliefs for another. Swapping religious creeds and doctrines for new age nonsense and crystals is not a step forward. Therefore those who chip away at the foundations of the Church must bear in mind what sort of gap will be left in society and what is most likely to fill that gap. Hence my desire to promote rationality and science rather than simply bear my capacious buttocks at religious insanity.

So my beef is not with religion, it is with irrational beliefs in society in general, I therefore declare myself as an atheist, a skeptic, a free thinker, a science enthusiast not in opposition to religion but in support of science, reason and logic.

The rise of secular Judaism looks to me like a good model to try and emulate. Jews who wish to celebrate their Jewish culture and history but can no longer accept the accompanying supernatural beliefs are succeeding in retaining their identity, divorced from their myths, through secular Judaism

Perhaps a celebration of the scientific method and the abolishment of faith schools promoting segregation and indoctrination will gradually make the supernatural claims of the churches less tenable.

A more open Church allowing us to all share in our culture and ceremonies without having to profess disingenuous beliefs in order to participate would be more progressive than attempting to cling on to pre enlightened dogmas.

So let’s simply hoe out the weeds of fanaticism and nurture the shoots of enlightenment that grow in the cracks of the Church rather than swinging a demolition ball at it

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Congratulations Sid & Rebecca

Science, Reason & Critical thinking would like to Congratulate Sid & Rebecca on their recent wedding at TAM7,Las Vegas, and wish them all the best. Well done guys.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Exclusive video footage from the Irish High Courts

Ireland is leading the way in the 21st Century with its highly liberal and reasonable new blasphemy laws. Scientists and critical thinkers see the new laws as a highly progressive step forward as we enter a new dawn of scientific enlightenment.

I can also exclusively reveal that the “Science, Reason and Critical Thinking” blog has acquired exclusive undercover video footage from the Irish High Courts of the first person to be prosecuted under these new laws.



For Christ’s sake Ireland, get a fucking grip.

Friday, 10 July 2009

A “Bob Dylan” styled Alternative Medicine Protest Song

I was on the train, coming home from work last night listening to Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” and reading Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst’s “Trick or Treatment”, when the words of the song started to transform.

Hopefully you're familiar with the 1963 masterpiece “Masters of War” taken from “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”, otherwise the following song probably wont work.

Anyway in honour of the multitude of purveyors of alternative medicine woo, I have taken the liberty of rewriting Dylan’s song……..


Come you masters of woo
You that believe in reiki
You that believe in crystals
You that believe in feng shui
Your aromatherapy
Is such an unlikely thing
I just don't want you to know
I have read Simon Singh

You that never healed no one
‘cept placebo effect
Your pills are just sugar
That’s what I suspect
You crack my poor spine
And stick pins in my smile
Then choose to ignore
A controlled clinical trial

Your homeopaths
Who delude and deceive
Distilled water has memory
They want me to believe
There’s no active ingredient
Not one single bit
But if water has memory
Your cures full of shit

You spread misinformation
And don’t vaccinate
With herd immunity lost
Children suffer your fate
You preach from your platform
On Oprah Winfrey
You might as well go
On a mad killing spree

Spine wizards can sue
If they don’t like my song
Your plethora of evidence
Has been proved to be wrong
You’ll regret the exposure
Of this I am sure
For colic and asthma
You don’t have a cure

You won't find my Ch’i
It doesn’t exist
Stop stabbing your pins
Please don’t persist
I have no meridian
To poke with a needle
Please try and see why
Your science is so feeble

Herbal remedies sound natural
What harm could they do?
Untested, unproven
They’re trialling on you
If they turn out to work
Then you’ll have to forgive
They can no longer be classed
As alternative

Crystals and reiki
You’re having a laugh
Not any more likely
Than a flying giraffe
If you believe in that crap
Then you have to admit
You’re lacking in reason
You credulous tit



Kudos must also been given to Dale Williams who’s mastery of the musical parody technique also served as inspiration.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Definitive Photographic Evidence That Einstein Was Wrong

Physics text books across the globe will have to be re-written after an undercover photographer recently scooped this earth shattering snap at a famous Las Vegas Casino.


A number of major deities including Yahweh, Thor and Zeus were thought to be attending this years Amazing Meeting (TAM 7) at Las Vegas with the express purpose of disproving the existence of the mythical James Randi. Event Organiser, and notorious Richard Wiseman impersonator Phil Plait refused to comment on the incident, but it is hoped that he will put a link up on his blog.

Much to amazement of many scientists, the photograph of Gods playing dice clearly disproves Einstein’s famous prediction on the gambling preferences of deities. This of course means that all of his other theories are now in doubt. This is likely to cause severe problems for the Satellite Navigation industry who up till now have relied on Einstein’s reworking of Newton’s gravitational laws in his general theory of relativity. Uncle Albert’s General Theory of Relativity has made it possible to pinpoint exact geographical coordinates from orbiting satellites by taking into account the curvature of space-time. If Einstein is now proved wrong, as suspected by many media halfwits, millions of drivers may discover that they are not actually where they thought they were after all. Interviewed shortly after the photograph went global, physics professor Brian Cox admitted that “Things might not necessarily get better after all”.

Christians of all denominations, especially Methodists, are once again refuting the evidence right before their eyes and claiming that the photograph is in fact photo-shopped by a lone IT consultant who should really know better, working from his study in Basingstoke. A spokesperson for the local Methodists Chapel in Basingstoke, the right reverend Ben Goldacre, told a pub full of sycophants that “It’s probably a bit more complicated than that”.

Monday, 6 July 2009

New Wing Opened at the Prince of Woos Hospital

A lot of people berate the Prince of Wales as a flappy eared sack of shite; nonetheless, it’s good to give credit, where credit is due. For example, the numb-nuts cretin himself recently opened the new wing of the Prince of Woos hospital. Much to the annoyance of local quacks and charlatans, the new wing will specialise in offering science based medicine as a complementary treatment to its vast selection of popular existing therapies.

The opening of the new wing went ahead successfully despite protests from outraged pretty ladies in nice floral dresses claiming that the new wing would be offering medicine that was based on proven randomised, placebo controlled double blind clinical trials. The protestors formed a cordon of negative energy around the new wing to prevent access, which to their dismay had no effect whatsoever.

Talking at a recent press conference the Prince told a begonia that: “A lot of people berate me for being a flappy eared sack of shite” before he was unfortunately punched in the balls by a clumsy well wisher. A spokesman for the Prince of Woos Hospital Dr Goldacre commented that he “thought it was probably a bit more complicated than that”.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Music for Enlightened Free Thinkers

Ever since Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in return for his sublime mastery of the blues, we godless types have had the best music.

As I now have a relatively large iTunes music library I frequently compile playlists for journeys or parties. Inspired by Daniel Loxton’s recent Skeptics Mix Tape, I though I’d compile a playlist of a songs that have a more rational and freethinking view of the universe.

I’ve included my favourite lyric from each song along with the album or single the song was taken from and the original release year in case you wish to source some of the songs to compile a similar list.

Rock On Atheist dudes….


1
Roy Harper: “The Death of God”
Taken from “The Death of God” (Single) 2005
“Welcome to heaven. I'm your creator. I bid you welcome. To the promised land. Sorry I made you. Bomb all those children. They were all warned. And they fully understand”

2
Patti Smith: “Gloria”
Taken from “Horses” 1975
“Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine”



3
XTC: “Dear God”
Taken from “Skylarking” 1986
“but all the people that you made in your image, see them starving on their feet 'cause they don't get enough to eat from God, I can't believe in you”

4
Peter Hammill: “Four Pails”
Taken from “Skin” 1986
“Four pails of water and a bagfull of salts. That is all we are, that is all a man comprises, chemicals alone, with no spirit, soul or ghost”

5
R.E.M.: “Loosing My Religion”
Taken from “Out Of Time” 1991
“The slip that brought me, To my knees failed, What if all these fantasies, Come flailing around”


6
The Boomtown Rats: “Nice ‘n Neat”
Taken from “The Fine Art of Surfacing” 1979
“Through tunnel vision watch him rant and rave. He says there's life beyond the grave”


7
Ziggy Marley: “In the name of God”
From the Album “Dragonfly” 2003
“All religion should be wiped out, so that people may just live, what divides us is an illusion, made up by men in their confusion”

8
Motorhead: “God Was Never On Your Side”
Taken from “Kiss of Death” 2006
“Let the sword of reason shine, Let us be free of prayer and shrine, God's face is hidden, turned away, He never has a word to say”

9
Skunk Anansie: “Selling Jesus”
Taken from “Paranoid and Sunburnt” 1995
“They made him up then wrote a book to keep you on your knees”


10
Bill Callahan: “Faith/Void”
Taken from “Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle” 2009
“Damin’ the children. Makin’ the ill just a little more sick. It’s time to put God away (I put God away)"


11
Rush: “Freewill”
Taken from “Permanent Waves” 1980
“Each of us, A cell of awareness, Imperfect and incomplete. Genetic blends, With uncertain ends, On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.”

12
John Lennon: “Imagine”
Taken from “Imagine” 1971
“Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky. Imagine all the people. Living for today…”

13
Roger Waters: What God Wants Part II”
Taken from “Amused To Death” 1992
“God wants dollars. God wants cents. God wants pounds, shillings, and pence. God wants guilders. God wants Kroner. God wants Swiss francs And God wants French francs. God wants escudos. God wants pesetas. Don't send lira. God don't want small potatoes”

14
Jethro Tull: Hymn 43
Taken from “Aqualung” 1971
“If Jesus saves. Well, He’d better save himself. From the gory glory seekers. Who use his name in death”


15
Grinderman: “Go Tell The Women”
Taken from “Grinderman” 2007
“We done out thing. We have evolved. We're up on our hind legs. The problems solved”


16
Nick Drake: “River Man”
Taken from “Five Leaves Left” 1969
“Betty said she prayed today. For the sky to blow away. Or maybe stay. She wasn’t sure”


17
Tori Amos: “God”
Taken from “Under The Pink” 1994
“God sometimes you just don't come through. Do you need a woman to look after you?”


18
Frank Zappa: “Jesus Thinks You’re a Jerk”
Taken from “Broadway The Hardway” 1988
Conviced they are 'The Chosen Ones' And all their parents carry guns, And hold them cards in the N.R.A. (With their fingers on the triggers, When they kneel and pray)

19
Pink Floyd: “Keep Talking”
Taken from “The Division Bell” 1994

“For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happenend which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk”

20
Cake: “Comfort Eagle”
Taken from “Comfort Eagle” 2001
“We are building a religion. We are making a brand. We're the only ones to turn to. When your castles turn to sand”


21
U2: “God Part II”
Taken from “Rattle and Hum” 1988
“Don't believe the devil. I don't believe his book. But the truth is not the same. Without the lies he made up”


22
Red Hot Chilli Peppers: “Shallow Be thy Game”
Taken from “One Hot Minute” 1995
“Shallow be thy game. 2000 years looking in the mirror. You play the game of shame. And tell your people live in fear”

23
Metallica: “Leper Messiah”
Taken from “Master of Puppets” 1986
“Marvel at his tricks, need your Sunday fix. blind devotion came, rotting your brain”


24
Anthrax: “Think About An End”
Taken from “Weve Come For You All” 2003
“Your god is dead and doesn't care. Tell me which one's worst. An uncaring god or knowing that you're alone on this earth?”

25
The Beatles: “Think For Yourself”
Taken from “Rubber Soul” 1965
“Do what you want to do. And go where you're going to. Think for yourself. 'Cause I won't be there with you”


26
Tom Waites: “Chocolate Jesus”
Taken from “Mule Variations” 1999
“Dont go to church on Sunday. Dont get on my knees to pray. Dont memorize the books of the bible. I got my own special way”

27
James: “One Of The Three”
Taken from “Laid” 1993
I need proof before belief. Oh, well, I guess you're not to blame for what they've done in your name, in your name”


28
Billy Joel: “Only The Good Die Young”
Taken from “The Stranger” 1977
“They showed you a statue, told you to pray. They built you a temple and locked you away. But they never told you the price that you pay. For things that you might have done.....”

29
Greydon Square: “Pandora’s Box”
Taken from “The Compton Effect” 2008
“You've been spoon fed belief and you don't even see it. You just absorbed the religion that's native to your region. You can't believe it so you won't believe it. Because the church has taught you that faith belongs in the place of reason”
30
Nine Inch Nails: “Heresy”
Taken from “The Downward Spiral” 1994
“His perfect kingdom of killing, suffering and pain. Demands devotion atrocities done in his name. Your God is dead and no one cares. Drowning in his own hypocrisy”

31
Ten Years After: “Religion”
Taken from “Rock & Ro
ll Music to the World” 1972
“I never really understood religion. Exce
pt it seems a good excuse to kill. I never really could make a decision. I don't suppose I ever really will”

32
Marilyn Manson: “The Fight Song”
Taken from “Holy Wood (In The Shadow of the Valley of Death)” 2000
“But I'm not a slave to god that doesn't e
xist. And I'm not a slave to world that doesn't give a shit”


33
10,000 Maniacs: “Let The Mystery Be”
Taken from “Few and Far Between” 1993
“Eveybody’s wonderin’ what and where, They all came from, Everybody’s worryin’ ‘bout where they’re gonna go, When the whole things done, But no one knows for certain so it’s all the same to me, I think I’ll just let the mystery be”

34
The Moody Blues: “It Aint Necessarily So” (George & Ira Gershwin)
Taken from “The Magn
ificent Moodies” 1965
“I said, ain't necessarily so. No, ain't necessarily so. The things you're liable. To read in a bible. Ain't necessarily so. Ain't necessarily so. No, it ain't necessarily so.”

35
Holly Near: “I Ain’t Afraid”
Taken from “Edge” 2000
“I ain't afraid of your Yahwe
h. I ain't afraid of your Allah. I ain't afraid of your Jesus. I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God”

36
Queensryche: “Spreading the Disease”
Taken from “Operation: Mindcrime” 1988
“Religion and sex are power plays. Manipulate the people for the money they pay. Selling skin, selling God. The numbers look the same on their credit cards”

37

The Association: “On a Quiet Night”
Taken from “Inside Out” 1967
“Are we all minstrels. Playing in a three-ring circus. Searching for a purpose that's not there?”


38
Ani Difranco: “What if No ones Watching”
Taken from “Imperfectly” 1992
“I mean wh
at, what if no one's watching, what if when we're dead, we're just dead, what if it's just us down here, what if god is just an idea, someone put in your head”

39
Bad Religion: “Faith Alone”
Taken from “Against the Grain” 1990
“Heard a sermon from a c
reaky pul pit with no one in the nave. I paid a visit to the synagogue and I left there feeling blame. No one could tell me what to do, they had not the capacity to answer me.”

40
Landscape: “Einstein A Go Go”
Taken from “From the Tea-rooms of Mars …” 1981
“Bible says we must
pay. I am the judge for the judgement day. There'll be no warning no alarm. I'll be the one who's saved. Einstein A Go Go”

41
Crosby Stills and Nash: “Cathedral”
Taken from “CSN” 1977
“I'm flying in Winchester cathedral. All religion has to have its day. Expressions on the face of the Saviour. Made me say. I can't stay.”

42
Adam & The Ants: “The Idea”
Taken from “Dirk Wears White Sox” 1979
“I could be religious if ...you didn't have to kneel down. I could be religious if ...a god would say ‘hello’. I could be religious if ...an angel touched my shoulder”

43
Dead Kennedys: “Religious Vomit”
Taken from “In God We Trust, Inc.” 1981
“They all claim that they have 'the Answer'. When they don't even know the Question. They're just a bunch of liars. They just want your money. They just want your consciousness”

44
Meshuggah: Terminal Illusions
Taken from “Destroy Erase Improve” 1995
“you surrender, under mass hypn
osis, bound to illusions, produced by your god”


45
Lily Allen: “Him”
Taken from “It’s Not Me, Its You” 2009
“Ever since he can remember. People have died in his good name. Long before that September. Long before hijacking planes”

46
David Gilmour: “This Heaven”
Taken from “On an Island” 2006
“All the pieces fall into place. When we walk these fields. And I reach out to touch your face. This earthly heaven is enough for me”

47
Bright Eyes: "A Scale, a Mirror and Those Indifferent Clocks"
Taken from “Fevers and Mirrors” 2000
"Here is a scale. Weigh it out and you will find, easily, more than sufficient doubt that these colours you see, were picked in advance by some careful hand, with an absolute concept of beauty."

48
Kenna: “New Sacred Cow”
Taken from “New Sacred Cow” 2003
“Crucify yourself for them. Does it make you feel any better? Religion as the crutch, all warped and delirious, and I swear I cant take it anymore”

49
Jack Johnson: “It’s All Understood”
Taken from “Brushfire Fairytales” 2000
“Suggestions on where to place faith. Suggestions on what to believe. But I read somewhere. That you've got to beware. You can't believe anything you read. But the good Book is good. And it's all understood. So don't even question. If you know what I mean”

50
Accept: “Protectors of Terror
Taken from “O
bjection Overruled” 1993
“They are protectors - will you pray - will you cry. Of terror - when brothers in faith turn to brothers in arms. They are protectors - how many more have to die”

51
Iron Maiden: “For the Greater Good of God”
Taken from “A Matter Of Life and Death” 2006
“It brings upon us more, A famine, dea
th and war, You Know Religion has, A lot to answer for”


52
Toad the Wet Sprocket: “Pray Your Gods”
Taken from “Fear” 1991

“I feel my body weakened by the years. As people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain, of death. Or could it be they fear the joy of life”

53

The Police: “Oh My God”
Taken fro
m “Synchronicity” 1983
“The fat man in his garden. The thin man at his gate. My God you must be sleeping. Wake up, it's much too late.”


54
Public Image Limited: “Religion II”
Taken from “First Issue” 1978
“Stained glass windows keep the cold outside. While the hypocrites hide inside. With the lies of statues in their minds. Where the Christian religion made them blind”

55

Pearl Jam: “Marker in The Sand”
Taken from “Pearl Jam” 2006

“Those undecided. Needn't have faith to be free. And those misguided, There was a plan for them to be...Now you got both sides. Claiming 'killing in god's name'. But god is nowhere. To be found, conveniently...”

56
OMD “Universal”
Taken from “Universal 1996
“We all bleed
the same blood, We all need the same love. And when we die there's no heaven above. It's universal, it's universal”

57
Oasis “Carry Us All”
Taken from “Sunda
y Morning Call” Single 2000
“Everybody's go
ne for quick sure fire solution. But faith in any god is gonna bury us all. No-one's gonna fight in a ten-bob revolution. Have faith in what you've got and it will carry us all”

58
Nick Cave: “Into My Arms”
Taken from “The Boatmans Call” 1997

“I don't believe in an interventionist God. But I know, darling, that you do But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him. Not to intervene when it came to you”

59
Muse: “Knights of Cydonia”
Taken from “Black Hol
es and Revelations” 2006
“Come ride with me. Through the veins of history. I’ll show you
how god. Falls asleep on the job”


60

Gary Numan: “The Angel Wars”
Taken from “
Exile” 1997
“I don't bel
ieve, In the angel wars (Oh Lord). I don't believe, in the Virgin birth (Father). I don't believe, in the cross on the hill (Jesus). I don't believe, In the kindness of God to man.

61

Lou Reed: “Busload of Faith”
Taken from “New York
” 1989
“You can’t depend on any churche
s. Unless there’s real estate you want to buy. You can’t depend on a lot of things. You need a busload of faith to get by, who”

62
Elvis Costello: “From Monkey To Man”
Taken fro
m “The Delivery Man” 2004
“He hangs up
flowers and bells and rhymes. Hoping to hell someone's forgiven his crimes. Fills up the air with his pride and praise. He's a big disgrace to our beastly ways”

63
Del Amitri: “I’m An Unbeliever”
Taken from “Just Before You Leave” Single 2002
“I was on m
y knees, yeah. I was sinking deeper. I was praying ‘Please bring me some relief", yeah. My mind was dead, erased. I was flesh and blood asking to be saved. I was ripe for the grip of some phony holy fellowship”

64
David Bowie: “Quicksand”
Taken from “Hunky D
ory” 1971
“I'm not a prophet, or a s
tone age man. Just a mortal, with the potential of a superman. I'm living on, I'm tethered to the logic, of Homo Sapien. Can't take my eyes, from the great salvation. Of bullshit faith”

65
Björk - It's In Our hands
Taken from “It’
s In Our Hands” Single 2002
“It's
all here in our hands. Well now aren't we scaring ourselves? Unnecessarily. Aren't we trying too hard? 'Cause it's in our hands”

66

Alice Cooper: “Stolen Prayer”
Taken from “The La
st Temptation” 1994
“You showed me your
paradise, And your carnival of souls, But my heart keeps telling me, That ain't the place to go, Well, I'm not invincible, So I want you to leave, Well, I'm so convincible, But have I been deceived?”

67
Kaiser Chiefs: “Time Honoured Tradition”
Taken from “Emp
loyment” 2005
“It's time honoured tradition, To get enough nutrition, Stay alive until you die, And that is the end of you”


68

Paul Weller: “Porcelain Gods”
Taken fr
om “Stanley Road” 1995
“Beware false prophets - take a stand! My fortune cookie cracked up in my hand, More advice t
o fill up your head, More empty words from the living dead”

69

The Divine Comedy: “Life On Earth”
Taken from “Fin
de Siècle” 1998
“Build your coffin of balsa
wood. Spend all that you earn. When you go you are gone for good. Never to return”


70
The Damned: “Amen”
Taken from “Grave Di
sorder” 2001
“Who says these people are insane, It's only brainwash, quite humane, A thousand channels take your pick, Another mystic lunatic, Amen”

71

The Housemartins: “Sheep”
Taken from “London 0 Hull 4” 1986
“Sometimes I get so angr
y with the simple life they lead. The shepherds smile seems to confirm my fears. They've never questioned anything, They've never disagreed Sometimes I think they must have wool in their ears”

72

Porcupine Tree: “Halo”
Taken from “Deadwing” 2005
“God is in my fingers. God is in my head. God is in the trigge
r. God is in the lead”


73

Extreme: “There is no God”
Taken from “Waiting for the Punchline” 1995
“So you're a self proclaimed messiah, or maybe a blasphemes liar, a clever hypnotic hoax, a hallowed heretic coax”

74

Echo & The Bunnymen: “All In Your Mind”
Taken from “Echo & The Bunnymen” 1987
“I pray, and nothing happens. Jesus, it's all in my mind. You say, Stop looking for answers, and reasons, they're all in your mind”