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: 4139
Latest Activity: 10 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

Knowledge and Atheism

Started by Madhukar Kulkarni. Last reply by Tommy Tucson 10 hours ago. 34 Replies

Nose Nerve Cells Repair Man's Severed Spinal Cord

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by James M. Martin 16 hours ago. 2 Replies

Ebola Evolution

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Christopher Lowe 18 hours ago. 1 Reply

A huge tragedy in our past

Started by Luara. Last reply by Tommy Tucson yesterday. 9 Replies

Did Jesus Save the Klingons?

Started by Scott Bidstrup. Last reply by Jimmy McCann on Wednesday. 8 Replies

Ebola Spreads to U.S.

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Oct 16. 5 Replies

Dunbar's number

Started by Rick Springfield Oct 5. 0 Replies

Leader of the Church of England doubts the existence of god

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by Christopher Lowe Oct 4. 37 Replies

Limb Regeneration Ability

Started by Patricia. Last reply by The Flying Atheist Sep 28. 1 Reply

Scientific Adam and Eve

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by James M. Martin Sep 25. 26 Replies

Nazca Lines Found in Kazakhstan

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Joan Denoo Sep 25. 4 Replies

Preying on our humanity

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Sep 22. 3 Replies

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Comment by George on October 25, 2011 at 9:56am
What are the main topics, anyway?
Comment by Marc Draco on October 25, 2011 at 9:09am

PLEASE. Can everyone stop this thread on the wall. It's nigh on impossible to follow and this is what the discussions are for.

 

Everyone would also do well to remind themselves of the Dunning-Kruger paradox, too.

Comment by George on October 25, 2011 at 8:40am
@ Natalie - color is perception - blue is blue, Raleigh scattering or not.  Aside from hallucination or other stimulation of the optic nerves, all color is some type of emitted or reflected light.
Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 7:53pm

Aww, shit.

Solipsism dead ahead!  You can only see the top 10%!  Hard to port!

Comment by Alecks Gates on October 24, 2011 at 7:50pm
Philip:  Of course, and there's no proof that it does, either :P.
Comment by Philip Jackson Armstrong on October 24, 2011 at 7:49pm
I think you are all assuming that the human mind actually has a grasp on true reality. Trust me it doesn't!
Comment by Natalie A Sera on October 24, 2011 at 7:18pm
And, Alecks, you need to think about just what IS 100% certainty (there's another thread going on about are you 100% positive there is no god -- I stopped reading it because that's an unanswerable question). I can be 100% certain that the sky will be blue next time I look at it on a clear day, but it really isn't -- it's just Raleigh scattering. In other words, it's just my perception. But we humans make conclusions based on our perceptions all the time. I'm open to the possibility that a god exists -- but find it extremely improbable, and won't believe it until it's proven to me, and so far, no one has been able to do that. So, yeah, I leave a tiny portion of my mind open to that, but I certainly am not waiting for it to happen, and so-called "proofs", like faith healing still leave me skeptical. Coincidences happen, and sometimes serious illnesses have actually been misdiagnosed, and sometimes they even DO remit, but I'm far more likely to believe it was a coincidence, or something that hasn't been studied sufficiently -- no reason to invoke supernatural causes.
Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 7:08pm
We're not thinking in absolutes though.  We're thinking in overwhelming improbabilities.
Comment by Alecks Gates on October 24, 2011 at 7:01pm
I'm not specifically talking about any subject.  I'm just saying you need to be open-minded in general.  Thinking in 100% absolutes is, quite frankly, stupid.
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).

 

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