Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.
"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.
Rebloggable by request:
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana in the U.S.? I’m pretty sure there are side effects so how can people justify it for medical use?
Take a look at this first list:
Feeling anxious, dizzy, or drowsy; mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation; headache, mood changes; blurred vision; ringing in your ears; or dry mouth. Also, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat; feeling light-headed, fainting; confusion, fear, unusual thoughts or behavior; seizure (convulsions); problems with urination; or nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Or this second one:
Drowsiness, dizziness, tired feeling; mild nausea, stomach pain, upset stomach, constipation; dry mouth; changes in appetite or weight; sleep problems (insomnia); or decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm. Also, mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, feeling impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), depressed, or increased thoughts of suicide. Finally, very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, overactive reflexes; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination; or headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops.
And there’s this last one:
Warmth or redness in your face, neck, or chest; stuffy nose; headache; memory problems; upset stomach; or back pain. Also, sudden vision loss; ringing in your ears, or sudden hearing loss; chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling; irregular heartbeat; swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet; shortness of breath; vision changes; or feeling light-headed, fainting.
Sounds pretty terrible right? Well, those are all side effects for legal substances. The first one is Hydrocodone (Vicodin), commonly prescribed for pain. The second is Zoloft, which is prescribed most often for depression and anxiety. The third, just for shits and giggles, is Viagra. Again, these are all legal.
As far as medicinal marijuana, here’s an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association:
“One of marihuana’s greatest advantages as a medicine is its remarkable safety. It has little effect on major physiological functions. There is no known case of a lethal overdose; on the basis of animal models, the ratio of lethal to effective dose is estimated as 40,000 to 1. By comparison, the ratio is between 3 and 50 to 1 for secobarbital and between 4 and 10 to 1 for ethanol. Marihuana is also far less addictive and far less subject to abuse than many drugs now used as muscle relaxants, hypnotics, and analgesics. The chief legitimate concern is the effect of smoking on the lungs. Cannabis smoke carries even more tars and other particulate matter than tobacco smoke. But the amount smoked is much less, especially in medical use, and once marihuana is an openly recognized medicine, solutions may be found. Water pipes are a partial answer; ultimately a technology for the inhalation of cannabinoid vapors could be developed.” [Vaporizers now exist] - Lester Grinspoon, MD & James B. Bakalar, JD, JAMA, June 21, 1995 Vol 273, No. 23
The side effects from medicinal marijuana are much less than regular pain and nausea medications, for which it’s most often used. Anyhow, it was good enough for Newt Gingrich to endorse way back in 1982. Seriously.
As for personal use - remember, there is one recreational drug, that despite its horrific abuse potential, remains readily available. Its overdose potential is unpredictable, and it kills an estimated 40,000 people per year. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s booze.
According to the CDC, “Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes. In 2009, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.”
The number of deaths attributed to marijuana last year: 0. Same as the year before that, and the year before that, and so on… It’s considered impossible to OD on marijuana.
If you have more questions, feel free to message again!