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: 4167
Latest Activity: 4 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

The Universal Love Triangle

Started by Donald L. Engel. Last reply by Christopher Lowe 4 hours ago. 106 Replies

An 11.2 billion year old star has been found with Earth-Size Planets

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by Jimmy McCann 11 hours ago. 1 Reply

Global warming is not man made

Started by Donald L. Engel. Last reply by Christopher Lowe on Tuesday. 3 Replies

Air Force Blue Book (UFO) Documents Put Online

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Joseph P on Sunday. 8 Replies

Organic Material Found on Mars

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Oxyaena Jan 15. 2 Replies

A Merry Newtonmas to You All on Atheist Nexus from Terry

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by Dr. Terence Meaden Dec 26, 2014. 6 Replies

Fossilized rod and cone cells

Started by Patricia Dec 23, 2014. 0 Replies

Pope Severely Criticizes Vatican Bureaucracy

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Joseph P Dec 22, 2014. 3 Replies

The Bible is not Great by Soren Sagan

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by sk8eycat Dec 22, 2014. 18 Replies

Ebola Spreads to U.S.

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Dec 19, 2014. 10 Replies

Pope Says Animals go to Heaven

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Lemual Poot Dec 17, 2014. 24 Replies

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Comment by Alex Donovan on January 25, 2009 at 2:31pm
Fundamentalists like to say that it takes more faith not to believe in God than to believe in God. William of Ockham described the principle of parsimony. Basically it states that there is no cause to needlessly multiply entities. What this means is that if you have two explanations that fit a given phenomenon, the one that makes the least assumptions is usually the correct one.

Christians have one more assumption than Agnostics or Atheists. That is, they assume the existence of a God or Gods who created the Universe. Agnostics and Atheists make no such assumption. Facts do not require "faith" but assumptions do. Therefore the more assumptions you make, the more faith is required. Therefore it takes more faith to believe in Christianity than it does not to.
Comment by Susan LaCroix on January 25, 2009 at 10:34am
Thanks Dr. Meaden, for your explanation of the "What existed before the Big Bang" question. I'm not as educated as most people here, but I've always wondered about it myself. You articulated it in a way that even the common folk can understand, and it makes perfect sense to me.

I enjoy reading most of the posts here, because I can learn new concepts here and find answers to some of the questions that have nagged at me my whole life. Scientific knowledge in this field has grown so rapidly over the past 10 yrs that I scarcely know where to begin!

I prefer to read the posts here and not comment on them most of the time, due to my ignorance of the laws of physics, and science in general. Though, I do hate to see a good discussion devolve into what seems like personal attacks on each others comments. I guess that's another reason why I rarely post comments:-)
Comment by Marc Draco on January 25, 2009 at 9:07am
Thanks Don. I'm heading over there now!
Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on January 25, 2009 at 9:06am
Well spotted, Don.
Thanks for pointing this out.
The article makes a good read for everybody.
Comment by Marc Draco on January 24, 2009 at 12:05pm
I don't know much about what Benedict thinks XVI, but he's obviously mistaken - as are you, Claudia. It's I and not Alex who posted the remark about Humanism being the ultimate evolution.

Clearly anyone who relies on there being a god (or the appearance of one) for their income is hardly likely to find anything else- you tend to find what you seek especially if you start with the blinkers of unreason firmly glued to your optic nerve.

So far as I am aware, Professor Dawkin's claim for the non-existence of "god" is absolute and unshaken.
Comment by Marc Draco on January 24, 2009 at 9:44am
"I said they were primarily deists."

Which is a fairly accurate description. Given the day, it's hard to imagine any non-deists among their number. I think it's more a matter of how extreme their ideas were.
Comment by chris on January 24, 2009 at 4:18am
i love this shit dude
Comment by Alex Donovan on January 23, 2009 at 10:16am
"Not so, Alex: the Founders were not all Deists"

Would you kindly point out where I said that they were 'all Deists'?

"...and they did allow State religions; just not an official and mandated National religion."

Define 'State religion.' To my understanding, a 'state religion' IS a 'mandated national religion.'

"Finally, Alex: being nice to each other is pretty simplistic if not put in the right context: I'm sure the Kmehr Rouge comrades were quite nice to each other as they cheerfully put plastic bags over the heads of 1/3 of the Cambodian population, ie their fellow citizens."

I can't decide if you're being deliberately obtuse or deliberately disengenuous with this one. Obviously, putting a bag on someone's head is not 'being nice.' The admonishment to 'be nice' must apply to ALL people equally.

"And PS: they gave atheism a bad name ( just as the Inquisition gave Catholics a bad name). "

Their actions had nothing to do with a philosophy of atheism. Their actions were motivated by a Communist ideology, which was as bad as a religious delusion, because it stifled critical thinking.
Comment by Marc Draco on January 22, 2009 at 5:01pm
"Mr. Draco, would you agree that if the ASA agrees the BHA is not in breach, than neither should be the Baptists, the Wikkans, or the Voodoo-ites?"

Sorry Marcus, I'm not quite sure I understand your question. Evangelical Christians ran an advert for the Alpha course some months ago and no one batted an eyelid.

The ASA (as per my post) and blog entry has made it perfectly clear that the BHA advert it not in breach.

All that's necessary is that an ad is honest and neither offensive nor misleading. The BHA ads run against the Alpha ads but neither one is misleading or inaccurate so far as I am aware. Anyone, even the Church of Scientology can advertise on a London bus (or TV come to that) provided the play within the very clear rules.

I think your point on Obama is right on the money. Christian values are good - if we remove the supernatural element - we've essentially got Humanism. Perhaps the altruism of Humanism has been subsumed by Christianity but I doubt that - recognition of altruism is a more modern concept. Perhaps one day, after we're all long since dead and gone, everyone will be Humanists.
Comment by Marcus Tullius Cicero on January 22, 2009 at 3:00pm
You're right, Don, if we were born into a Muslim nation we'd be Muslims. But if we were somehow otherwise, and professed our Christianity or Atheism, etc, we would indeed submit or lose our heads. Thankfully it has not come to that in the "battle' between Atheists and Christians, though I fear there are proponents on each side who would not be remiss to use the sword! Zealots come in all flavors. And so does hubris. That is why, over my many many years, I have stressed the need to abjure the jejune and the anecdotal. Ad hominum attacks and ranting, seen at times among both theists and atheists and, unfortunately more often than we should in this forum, are to me signs that one's belief conclusions are rooted in emotion and ignorance rather than intellectual analyses.

Vis-a-vis Obama's mother, where did she get the values she taught him? Let concede that in America thus far, milieu is definitely "Christianesque", and will remain so until secularism has grown more.

Mr. Draco, would you agree that if the ASA agrees the BHA is not in breach, than neither should be the Baptists, the Wikkans, or the Voodoo-ites?

Not so, Alex: the Founders were not all Deists, and they did allow State religions; just not an official and mandated National religion. Most people forget that the early U S was essentially a federation of almost autonomous states, and that the term state at that period in history connoted a national and political entity similar to Germany or Italy today. But you are right... moot point now.
Finally, Alex: being nice to each other is pretty simplistic if not put in the right context: I'm sure the Kmehr Rouge comrades were quite nice to each other as they cheerfully put plastic bags over the heads of 1/3 of the Cambodian population, ie their fellow citizens. And PS: they gave atheism a bad name ( just as the Inquisition gave Catholics a bad name).
 

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