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 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.

Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 5:26pm
You seem to have missed the earlier quoting of "If you're too open-minded, your brain will fall out."
Comment by Alecks Gates on October 24, 2011 at 5:15pm

Someone teach Joseph something new.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15181187

 

Open.  Mind.

Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 5:09pm
Someone catch Alecks's brain, before it rolls out into the hallway.
Comment by Joseph P on October 24, 2011 at 5:08pm

They're just saying that it's the same level of faith as what you get with belief in a deity, Terri.  From what I'm getting of the discussion so far, they're not accusing you of being a theist.  To summarize, I think:

 

Believing in this sort of thing doesn't disqualify you from being an atheist, but it does disqualify you from being a good skeptic.

 

I've run into the same thing, with new-agers abusing quantum mechanics.  My roommate loaned me 'The Secret' in audiobook format.  That book pulled the same "Recent advances in Quantum Mechanics have shown that <insert their particular new-age woo woo>."

The moment you hear or read that phrase, and it's not coming out of the mouth of a quantum physicist, they're spinning pure bullshit.  If quantum physics shows something, then why don't the quantum physicists tell us about it?  Why do you only ever hear it spoken in a sing-song, new-agey voice?  If that doesn't immediately trigger your skeptical instinct, you're doing something wrong.

 

It's like the 9/11 truthers that you get in some atheist groups.  Hell, we have a group of them tucked around here somewhere.  I can't deny that they're atheists, when they say they are, but they're shitty skeptics.

Comment by Alecks Gates on October 24, 2011 at 5:07pm
Science requires an open mind, or you won't learn anything new.
 

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