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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
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Natalie A Sera on October 24, 2011 at 12:27pm
Alecks, that's what James Randi and his friends are for. They are quite skilled at exposing hoaxes.
Comment by Natalie A Sera on October 24, 2011 at 12:24pm
Just the words "tapped into their electric circuits" turns on my woo-dar. I'm much more inclined to think you subconsciously know things about them, or that what you are seeing is a hallucination or deceptive image in your own brain having nothing to do with them, but which would be likely coincidences. Even deja-vu has turned out to have a physiological basis. The words "electrical circuits" sounds much more like pseudo-scientific woo than anything to do with reality.
Comment by Alecks Gates on October 24, 2011 at 12:21pm
Wasn't a very convincing video about Ghost Hunters, but it doesn't really matter since I don't take it seriously.  The point about keeping an open mind still stands.  We're on the verge of new science every day and people disregarding it as a load of phooey because it's not "modern" science is just plain ignorant when they don't try to back it up.
Comment by Shane Starr on October 24, 2011 at 12:17pm
I would agree with Alecks on this. Not so much about Ghost Hunters, or any other TV show but from experiences I have had that leave the possibility open. For instance I had had situations where I see people that I have never met personally but whom I know through email comunication performing different tasks or in certain situations and when contacted concerning the event I have discovered that the images I saw were accurate depictions of them at that time. I dont attribute this to "magic" in the supernatural sense but rather to the possible existence of human energy interactions in which I "tapped into" their electrical circuits giving me a sense of their surroundings and mood. Ofcourse none of this is proven and I recognize the possibility that it was just lucky guess but I cannot dismiss the possibility that such things can occur without definitive proof.
Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 12:17pm
Yeah, they cloak it in more science-y crap than most shows. At least they aren't a bunch of assholes running around with a camera and jumping at the slightest sound, screaming, "What was that?"

Their methods are still total crap, though. If they got a competent architect or trade construction worker (electrician, plumber, duct worker, etc) on the show, he/she could fix the 'spirits' in a few days.
Comment by Tommy on October 24, 2011 at 11:57am

You don't have to call anyone. There ain't no ghost, nor the tooth fairy, easter bunny or santa. However the debate on the great pumpkin is still on going. When it comes to magic Barbara Eden in I dream of Genie was always the closes I came to believing in magic. She put that outfit on and magically became hot. 

 

Comment by Alecks Gates on October 24, 2011 at 11:53am

First I would like to point out that, by definition, being an Atheist doesn't mean you don't believe in spirits, ghosts, magic etc.

One reason many people believe in things like this is simply because they see things they cannot explain and look for some sort of explanation.  Most of it is, of course, complete crap.  A lot of it is no different than believing in a deity.

However, there are some people out there who do believe in it and try to use scientific means to explain some of these things.  I have seen some things I cannot explain, and although I don't jump to silly conclusions, it's also not correct to completely dismiss these things without a proper explanation.

The only thing that's come close to good credibility for me is the show Ghost Hunters, where they 1) Debunk whatever they can and 2) Attempt to capture evidence (not proof).  They have never once, in my time of watching, declared absolute proof in anything.  The show offers the perfect example of keeping an open mind about things and not forming an opinion in any direction without proof.  Do they do hoaxes to convince people?  The possibility is there, but I don't get that sort of vibe from the show.

Disregarding observations is just as bad as making up wild stories to explain them.  Imagine if Galileo looked into the stars and never changed his opinion about anything.

Comment by Troy Gorsline on October 24, 2011 at 11:29am
So here is my question based on the discussion on magic and spirits. I know folks who are convinced in the presence of ghosts/spirits. As there are now three Parinormal Activity films, there is popularity to this. Are these believes in occurances all hoaxes and fixes? Is the believe, or desire for belief, so strong that the mind convinces itself of its truth?
Comment by Susan Stanko on October 22, 2011 at 7:07am
I had a friend in high school who I discussed this with.  He quickly came to the conclusion that he is also an atheist.
Comment by Joseph P on October 22, 2011 at 6:57am

Ugh, not Chris Angel.  He's a freaking hack.  He uses stooges for damned near every trick on the show.

 

There's a trick he does where he walks on water across a pool full of people.  Every single person on the set is a plant.  Same with the trick in which he rips a girl in half while she's lying on a park bench.  Every single person in the crowd is a plant.

 

Go look up stuff from a real magician: Penn and Teller or James Randi.  I'm not up on all of my mentalism techniques.  There are people who can teach you to do cold-reading, which is what the woman talking to you about your dead ancestors was doing.  I'm sure you think you didn't give away any information, but there are ways to give vague generalities and have the person you're reading fill in the details without even realizing they're doing so.

 

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