Atheists who love Science!

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Atheists who love Science!

A group for science enthusiasts of all types -- professionals, amateurs, students, anybody who loves science.

Members: 1579
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

Whether you're a professional, a student, an amateur, an enthusiast, whatever! Lots of atheists love science. Might as well have a group for it!

Feel free to nerd out, link articles, talk about your favorite field of research, whatever!

The icon is from www.wearscience.com.


9/28/2008
I've been super busy with school this semester -- no time for Atheist Nexus, sadly!!
If anyone who's around here a lot wants me to toss them moderation privileges to run this group or anything, just send me (Sara) a message! Thanks!

11/14/2009
Removed ability to send mass messages to everyone in the group. At 1000+ members, that seems like asking for spam.

Offer still open if anyone active in the group wants moderation privileges, but it appears everything has been going smoothly with all kinds of great discussions without moderation. Fantastic! :)

Discussion Forum

Google Makes First Fully Self-Driving Car

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Clarence Dember on Tuesday. 1 Reply

The Web is not the Net.

Started by Visvakarman Svetasvatara-Upanish Dec 17. 0 Replies

Intelligent life 90% less likely

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Dec 9. 3 Replies

100 Billion Frames per second camera

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 4. 0 Replies

Stem

Started by C.L.A.W.S.. Last reply by Sean Murphy Oct 31. 2 Replies

Green Tea Boosts Brainpower

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Oct 28. 5 Replies

Quick Ebola tests on the horizon

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Deidre Oct 18. 2 Replies

Tenured Professor shouts "Fire!" in crowded theatre

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by David Layton Sep 27. 4 Replies

Max Planck on New Scientific Truth?

Started by Tom Sarbeck. Last reply by Luara Aug 13. 5 Replies

Electric Bacteria

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara Jul 18. 3 Replies

Vantablack

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Sean Murphy Jul 15. 1 Reply

Roundup Ready Corn IS Toxic

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jul 13. 7 Replies

Crowded rooms make you dumb

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Pat Jul 5. 4 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Tom Sarbeck on March 15, 2014 at 12:40am

Chick in TN: Gregory didn't blind me with science.

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 14, 2014 at 11:02pm

Its all good. Theories are a tricky subject. It is entirely possible that there could be a better explanation for the apparent red-shifts of galaxies. We don't currently have one, but that is not to say one could not exist. The Doppler effect, when applied to electromagnetic waves is a description of an observed process. Just as gravity is itself just a description of the attraction of masses, one could apply a different label or term to a process and have a different mechanism to describe the effect in question. There is room for people to be skeptical. If we just assume that our descriptions (theories) are the correct ones, progress in science comes to a screeching stop. 

But that is not to say that we should reject the mainstream theories outright just out of skepticism. If there were fatal flaws in any of the mainstream theories, they should be investigated. But you cannot just throw the entire theory out (such as the Big Bang model) just because it leaves some questions unanswered. 

I think it is a common mode of thinking that many people have when they had just recently moved from being a religious person to being a skeptic or atheist. In many religions, people are provided an absolute belief system that fills in every hole possible. They are indoctrinated to believe the answers of the universe are known... god did it. When they move to atheism they want a similar belief system and are quite resistant to entertain the healthy motto of "I don't know." Any questions science lacks an answer for is inherently uncomfortable for many ex-theists. So they latch on to pet alternative theories that profess to answer all of the questions just as their prior theistic belief had done. In the absence of a god, the ultimate panacea answer for any unknown question, some theists reject any scientific theory that does not fill in all of the blanks. Of course, these do not actually exist. 

Theories are bounded. That is, they cover a very specific range of explanation. The Big Bang theory, for example covers the expansion of the cosmos from one Planck second after the actual event to the present. It says nothing of what happened at the event, or where it came from, or what any singularity might have been. Those questions are beyond the range of the theory. 

The bottom line is that science tries to overlap theories but there are gaps. The Big Bang has its limitations, which it clearly defines. Evolution, similarly, is about the change of genes over time. It says nothing about how non-living matter became living organisms. That would be handled by abiogenesis, which is the bleeding edge of research today, bridging chemistry with biology.

Comment by Chuck in TN on March 14, 2014 at 6:54pm

Gregory - Admittedly, I am quite the lay-person when speaking of science, but I was more than a little surprised when Tom suggested that red-shift was fictitious. In this day and age that sounds a lot like a flat-earth argument to me. Unfortunately, Tom left the group before I had the opportunity to read his last few comments.

Several years ago I read Simon Singh's 'Big Bang' and thought it was very well written for laymen like myself.

Comment by Chuck in TN on March 14, 2014 at 6:30pm

Patricia - Haha! That certainly reinforces my opinion that all religions are silly. Yes, even those that worship cats. ;-)

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 14, 2014 at 1:22pm

I am awake typically at night, so feel free to ask questions and I will gladly drop science bombs for you.  Tom was cool and graciously bowed out. No biggie. Post your questions and I will get answers overnight. I am an atheist that happens to be reasonably well versed in quantum mechanics, various cosmological models (I favor the Big Bang), abiogenesis, and a little evolutionary biology (enough to know what I am talking about). I wrote a book in lamans terms on various topics that arise in debates with theists too. Published on Amazon for Kindle.

Comment by Chuck in TN on March 14, 2014 at 1:09pm

@ Joan - The only religion that I am interested in is Dudeism and it, like all other religions, is silly too. (but in a good way - IMHO)

Comment by Chuck in TN on March 14, 2014 at 1:04pm

I think Gregory "blinded Tom with science"..........or something.

You can lead a horse to water.......

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 14, 2014 at 12:42pm

Well, I assume you two know what you write about and it is just a bunch of words to me. That is a reflection of my inadeq1uacy, not yours. 

Thanks, Gregory, for reminding of that great video of Krauss and Dawkins. I suppose the science will be explained so that mere mortals can understand it, and I look forward to that time. 

Surely the best explainer is Krauss. 

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 14, 2014 at 5:12am

I like how you have repeatedly ignored my challenge that "The PCM requires Birkeland currents that simply do not exist to be consistent (among other things it predicts). Whereas I have repeatedly read your entire posts and replied point-by-point, you continue the troll-style replies. For this reason I am discontinuing my discussion with you as I am finding it fruitless.

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 14, 2014 at 4:39am

Wow. Skim much? Yes, I am long winded, but taking me out of context exposes a lack of integrity on your part. You obviously also skimmed the wikipedia entry on the Doppler effect, which I did not have to reference in my explanation thereof as again, I have confirmed its application to electromagnetic waves in a rather simple set of experiments in high school. From the primary wiki page on the Doppler effect (took me 10 seconds to find this) "Hippolyte Fizeau discovered independently the same phenomenon on electromagnetic waves in 1848 (in France, the effect is sometimes called "effet Doppler-Fizeau" but that name was not adopted by the rest of the world as Fizeau's discovery was six years after Doppler's proposal)." page address:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doppler_effect

So it was independently discovered to be applicable and not even called the Doppler effect until the analogy stuck later. So when we say "the Doppler effect" in reference to electromagnetic waves red/blue shifts we are using the term as a convention, not as its original use (which was sound). 

And if you wiki the Big Bang, there is a rather decent explanation there including copious references. For example, "Fred Hoyle is credited with coining the term "Big Bang" during a 1949 radio broadcast. It is popularly reported that Hoyle, who favored an alternative "steady state" cosmological model, intended this to be pejorative, but Hoyle explicitly denied this and said it was just a striking image meant to highlight the difference between the two models." So Hoyle coined the term though he preferred the steady state model. A British astronomer. Catholic priest? Maybe that was his part time job...

Again, you strawman the Big Bang theory with your phrasing: "From an atom, the universe" paraphrases "From nothing, everything" and makes the BBCM ridiculous.

The singularity was not an atom. It was space and time itself compacted. And most cosmologists do not actually believe in any singularity as an actual state, just as a logical consequence of rewinding the expanding universe. Still, there is a big difference between that and an atom.

Nothing to everything? That is not even remotely accurate. No part of the Big Bang model requires nothing as a precondition. I would recommend Lawrence Krauss for a good explanation of why this 'nothing' misconception is just plain wrong. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUe0_4rdj0U

What is most alarming is that you completely missed the point when I explained the argument from incredulity fallacy and even requoted my example it is hard to imagine, therefore....

YOU are committing this fallacy by choosing to not accept the Big Bang model simply because you find it ridiculous or cannot understand it (the latter of which is becoming overwhelmingly evident).

And as you keep appealing to the term faith in this discussion, I am lead to believe you are, in fact, an apologist troll.

And Occam's razor is a good philosophy in general, but just as quantum mechanics is a horribly complicated FACT, the correct explanation is not ALWAYS the simplest explanation. Its a rule of thumb, not a law of nature.

 

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