You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded.
To the question, “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, “Why not?”
Atheist: Natural Morals, Real Meaning, Credible Truth

28 November, 2009

Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought: Scientific American

Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought: Scientific American: "Darwinism rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations. The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the adaptedness and diversity of the world solely materialistically. It no longer requires God as creator or designer (although one is certainly still free to believe in God even if one accepts evolution). Darwin pointed out that creation, as described in the Bible and the origin accounts of other cultures, was contradicted by almost any aspect of the natural world. Every aspect of the “wonderful design” so admired by the natural theologians could be explained by natural selection. (A closer look also reveals that design is often not so wonderful—see “Evolution and the Origins of Disease,” by Randolph M. Nesse and George C. Williams; Scientific American, November 1998.) Eliminating God from science made room for strictly scientific explanations of all natural phenomena; it gave rise to positivism; it produced a powerful intellectual and spiritual revolution, the effects of which have lasted to this day."

25 November, 2009

License to Wonder

“But there’s one way in which we should not be limited: imagination. As Einstein put it, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.””

19 November, 2009

CFI Announces Blasphemy Contest Winners | Center for Inquiry

CFI Announces Blasphemy Contest Winners | Center for Inquiry: "The Center for Inquiry is pleased to announce that Ken Peters of California is the Grand Prize winner of its Blasphemy Contest, which asked contestants to submit statements of no more than twenty words critical of religious beliefs. The entry Mr. Peters submitted was: “Faith is no reason.” Regarding Mr. Peters’ entry, CFI president and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay observes, “This entry, using only four words, summarizes nicely one of the key principles of post-Enlightenment thought. Beliefs should be based on evidence and reason. Faith is not a basis for logically sound belief.”"

Daughter makes me proud...

Allena examines a book she picked up… (click to em-biggen)

In “celebration” of Darwin’s 150th anniversary of publication of “Origin of Species,” Ray Comfort (a Creationist), printed 100,000 copies of it to hand out at colleges. The kicker being it has a 50+ page introductory rant about how “Dawinism” is evil and wrong and what-not. He also didn’t print some key chapters.

The joker Comfort does his distribution a day earlier and at campuses that he didn't advertise where, one of them being San Jose State. Allena and I had talked about trying to get a copy of the book but it didn't look good. But then when I saw Comfort was executing a day early I sent her a message and after saying she hadn't seen any, she comes back with "I GOT ONE!" Pretty funny. She also was given a fake $1M bill with Obama on it called Jesus Money.

Allena posted her find at The Primate Diaries, I think she made the best picture of the bunch. Very clever and funny, unlike most of the boring head shots.

17 November, 2009

The Don't Diss Darwin Institute

The Don't Diss Darwin Institute: "Comfort's confused polemic, disguised as an informational Introduction but full of mistakes, half truths, untruths, muddled logic, old creationist arguments, misleadingly excerpted quotations, and ill-framed analogies — plus a good dose of fire and brimstone at the end — will do a severe disservice to anyone who takes it for an entryway to Darwin's great book."

15 November, 2009

Why Evolution Is True

Why Evolution Is True: "Creationists have a very fixed view of the world – literally and figuratively. They have The Truth – it’s written in a series of manuscripts that were produced by various tiny Middle Eastern sects 2-3 millennia ago, which were eventually sifted and sorted and mistranslated into a set of what were deemed to be acceptable views to a group of Church leaders around 1500 years ago. All they have to do is to read it, and The Truth is obvious – God created all species, so there can be no evolution.

Science, however, doesn’t claim to have The Truth. We simply have the best approach to reality that we can have, based on the available evidence. If we were to find fossil rabbits in the pre-Cambrian, then we would all have to backtrack on the phrase that forms the title of this blog. However, there comes a point at which the absence of contradictory evidence, and the overwhelming weight of supporting evidence, leads us to stop pussy-footing around. We abandon all that philosophical bet-hedging and simply state “evolution is true”. If the fossil rabbits ever turn up (don’t hold your breath), we’ll revisit the statement – as the French say, only imbeciles don’t change their minds."

11 November, 2009

Lawrence Krauss gives a talk

"The universe is huge and old and rare things happen all the time"

Lawrence Krauss gives a talk on our current picture of the universe, how it will end, and how it could have come from nothing.

This is an excellent talk and well worth the hour to watch.

01 November, 2009

Post Halloween Flight

Nice flying day today. Took Patrick and Justin from work for a ride and lunch at Half Moon Bay (HAF). Clear and little wind, it got crowded at HAF, good thing we got there when we did, parking got scarce. Patrick was funny when I pulled a few maneuvers, one stall and a couple of steep turns. Those big water polo studs can be pretty whimpy. :-)

I didn't take any picture flying or at HAF. Too busy herding the boys along.
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