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: 4130
Latest Activity: 2 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Julie Carter on October 24, 2011 at 6:33pm

The burden of proof for all of this stuff is the same as it is in religion: the burden of proof is on the "believers." Without any proof of an afterlife, ghosts, conscious energies, etc., I don't accept it as true. And just because something may be possible doesn't mean it's probable. Not believing in these forms of woo (sorry if the term offends, but it's convenient shorthand for the discussion) doesn't mean you're closed-minded. It means that based on experience and based on the preponderance of evidence presented (or not presented) so far, there's no reason to accept these things as true. Just because there are things that can't be explained doesn't mean they are true. Use the same level of critical thinking and rationalism for this stuff as you do for god.

 

Personally, I'm a monist (as opposed to a dualist), so I don't believe in ghosts, the afterlife, the soul, shared consciousness, chakras, past lives, magic, ESP, or any of this other stuff. Show me the evidence, and I'm more than happy to change my mind. That's how a skeptic thinks. And a scientist (and I am both).

Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 6:04pm
Or, if you'd prefer a serious answer, Urban Dictionary has a pretty good entry for it.
Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 6:00pm

Also...

 

What is woo?

 

http://youtu.be/dsUXAEzaC3Q?t=3m20s

Comment by Terri Harshman on October 24, 2011 at 5:50pm

Yes.  I have been working on the spirits study diligently over the past few years (not sure if thats good or bad) but with no success as yet.

Trying single-malt scotch now...and taking notes.

Wish me well.

Comment by Rudy V Kiist on October 24, 2011 at 5:44pm
Well back to the ghost/spirit thing...I find seeing ghosts usually relate to the amount of spirits drank. There's a scientific formula somewhere in there too.
Comment by Terri Harshman on October 24, 2011 at 5:43pm

Also...

What is woo?

Comment by Terri Harshman on October 24, 2011 at 5:41pm

I agree completely.

 

Right now I am nose-to-book in "Compendium of Quantum Physics" to get a better grasp.

 

Thank  you.

Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 5:39pm

Ah, I can appreciate the distinction.  I'd just move your choice of words one step further down from "feasible".  Make it "an interesting idea that we should study in a scientific environment to see if it has any bearing upon reality" and you're on track.

 

To elaborate my issue with the new-agers who speak of what quantum mechanics demonstrates, the problem is that they skip the scientific-testing phase and go straight to the publishing-a-book-and-hawking-it-on-Oprah phase.

Comment by Terri Harshman on October 24, 2011 at 5:32pm

Well that was a healthy debate.  As I sit here going over what I said that started this, I see that "feasible" has been interpreted as "is".  My intention was to add to and/or clarify what was said prior.  I will admit that I often have difficulty articulating my thoughts to others.

 

My life is lived as a question.  "Why", and  "I don't know" are often my dialogue of choice.  Am I a skeptic? Yes. I have an open mind too.  This is what allows me too listen, and I do, that's how I learn.

Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 5:32pm

But Bassam Shakhashiri, president-elect of the American Chemical Society, told BBC News: 'This is how we make progress in science.

 

"[If] someone comes up with a discovery that we are sceptical about…we [have to] take time to verify the observations and discuss the conclusions among ourselves."

 

And thank you for demonstrating my point.

 

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