ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
Members: 4060
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by C.J. Scoggins on October 21, 2011 at 12:36pm
Hello all, my name is C.J., I have recently become an Atheist and am looking for some new friends as the old ones now believe I am of the Devil..sad that people don't question such notions. Hope to hear from you all soon. Glad I came across this site.
Comment by Meddlesome on October 10, 2011 at 7:35am

All Sing along now (Courtesy of Monty Python):

 

All things dull and ugly,
All creatures short and squat,
All things rude and nasty,
The Lord God made the lot.
Each little snake that poisons,
Each little wasp that stings,
He made their brutish venom.
He made their horrid wings.

All things sick and cancerous,
All evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous,
The Lord God made them all.

Each nasty little hornet,
Each beastly little squid--
Who made the spikey urchin?
Who made the sharks? He did!

All things scabbed and ulcerous,
All pox both great and small,
Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
The Lord God made them all.

Amen.

 

 

Comment by Hania Uscka-Wehlou on October 10, 2011 at 7:33am
LOL!
Comment by Joseph P on October 10, 2011 at 7:27am

Yeah, it's the cart-before-the-horse issue.  Nature wasn't created to be beautiful for us.  We evolved to find nature beautiful.  Theists just aren't capable of understanding that the latter is a much more powerful explanation.

 

"The universe was created just for us!  If the Earth was even slightly different, we couldn't live on it!"

Yeah, but probably something could live on it, and those lifeforms would probably be marveling at the way their planet was perfectly designed for them, as soon as they developed the self-awareness to wonder about it

... and the puke-green clouds and vomit-brown seas are so beautiful.

... and such beauty could only be created by God.

Comment by Steph S. on October 9, 2011 at 9:58pm
Chris - we'd love to hear about the documentary on the Great Barrier Reef in the Documentarians group.
http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/documentarians
Hope you can join us.
Comment by Chris Dodds on October 9, 2011 at 9:46pm
Watching a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef on Animal Planet.  I know I'm probably gonna ruffle some feathers here, but I can see why people might be tempted to think this planet and everything on it were specially created.  The Great Barrier Reef is so beautiful it looks like something that should be displayed in an art museum.
Comment by Marc Draco on September 30, 2011 at 5:15pm
Like the elderly man a few doors down the road from me - he almost bludgeoned his wife to death during a psychotic episode. Guess what - he is a Catholic...
Comment by Joseph P on September 30, 2011 at 5:13pm
Yeah, it has to do with precedent. If an insane person has been raised as a rationalist, he/she is more likely to decide, "Wow, I'm hearing voices telling me to do horrible things. I must be insane and need medication."

If a person is raised to think that an invisible being talks to people, is the ultimate source of good, and must be obeyed ... a different result is likely.
Comment by Marc Draco on September 30, 2011 at 4:00pm
Another reason why religion is particularly dangerous to the mentally ill (which could be anyone, at any time!) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15128057
Comment by Marc Draco on September 30, 2011 at 8:26am

Fil, there is another problem with feedback loops (although I like the analogy).

When we're designing a loop we know what the open loop performance is, so we know how much feedback to apply to achieve the result we want. I get the idea (from Black's paper) that negative feedback corrects unwanted artifacts, but the trouble is that outside of a closed system we have to deal with other unwanted factors.

Brainwashing cults work like this - they create a closed system and use feedback to control people. When people escape those boundaries they are free from the system - which is why these cults are so careful to keep followers in check.

 

Right, back to bed with me...

 

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